Like last year, the upcoming BC and Yukon Peony Show promises to be full of lovely flowers. (Larry Doell)

Like last year, the upcoming BC and Yukon Peony Show promises to be full of lovely flowers. (Larry Doell)

BC and Yukon Peony Show preparing to bloom in Castlegar

The BC and Yukon Peony Show will be taking place in Castlegar June 9-11.

Everything is coming together for what promises to be another great BC and Yukon Peony show.

This year’s show has a focus on the 150th anniversary of Canada and will take place June 9-11 in Castlegar.

The show has been so popular and successful the last few years that the Canadian Peony Society has asked local organizers to host the 2019 national peony show here in Castlegar. Last year’s show featured over 270 entries, most from local growers.

“We are anticipating that we are going to get that local participation again this year, said show chair Holly Pender-Love. “But we are also looking for people that may be coming in from Washington and we may have some other areas in British Columbia sending flowers in.”

Flowers can be entered on Friday, June 9 between 3 and 7 p.m. at the Sandman Hotel ballroom. Last-minute entries will also be accepted Saturday, June 10 between 7:30 and 8:45 a.m.

“We really invite every ordinary person to enter their flowers,” said Pender-Love. “This is not a special show — it is for ordinary people that enjoy the beauty of their own garden. “

The floral exhibition part of the show will open with a ribbon-cutting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 10. Show hours are 2 to 7 p.m. that day and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 11.

Floral entry and general admission to the show are both free.

This year several workshops by Janice Ferraro will be offered during the show. Peony Envy is a free workshop where Ferraro will share her secrets in an educational demonstration creating a large floral display.

The Chop Box Peony Design workshop will allow participants to have fun creating a peony design using materials from a chop box. They will have 30 minutes to create with the materials in their box. Prizes will be awarded for the top three designs. The workshop costs $20 and only 20 spaces are available, contact to register.

This year’s show will be judged by Blaine Marchand who has had a career as a Canadian Diplomat, is a published writer and is a prolific peony gardener with more than 600 peonies growing on his Osceola, Ont. property. He was president of the Canadian Peony Society from 2009-2012 and editor of the CPS journal, Paeonia Nordica from 2012 to 2015.

Marchand is also known for his poetry and will be reading from his most recent books Aperture, The Craving of Knives, and My Head, Filled With Pakistan at the Nelson Public Library June 8, the day before the peony show.

Another special feature at the peony show is a luncheon on Saturday, June 10 at 11:30 a.m. at the Selkirk College Cafeteria. Marchand will give a PowerPoint presentation. Half of the luncheon tickets have already been sold, so organizers are enouraging anyone who really wants to go to get their tickets right away. Tickets are $30 and are available at Kalawsky GM in Castlegar, Otter Books in Nelson and Hall Printing in Trail.

“It is going to be a delightful luncheon,” said Pender-Love. Guests are asked to leave their gumboots and gardening clothes behind and as the tickets state: “dress up like royalty.”

“Because we are celebrating the 150th anniversary, we are thinking about how people used to get all dolled up. So we are really encouraging at the least to wear a hat,” explained Pender-Love. “We don’t get many opportunities to get all dressed up.”

Once the show is over, and contestants have picked up any blooms they want to take with them, the remaining flowers will be available for purchase to the public beginning at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 11. Potted Peonies from Beasley peony grower Dutch Girl Peonies will be available for sale throughout the show.

More information can be found at


Like last year, the upcoming BC and Yukon Peony Show promises to be full of lovely flowers. (Larry Doell)

Like last year, the upcoming BC and Yukon Peony Show promises to be full of lovely flowers. (Larry Doell)