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The NSAGC has Executive and Board members who meet twice a year in Truro, NS.  There are District Directors who aid the clubs in their area by bringing their accomplishments and issues to be discussed at these meetings and who also bring the NSAGC news to them.  The NSAGC also includes committees who plan for the future and provide services to the garden clubs and societies.

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Vicki Willis: email:

Vice Chairperson
Pamela MacLean: email:

I lived in Sydney most of my life, and started gardening as a child in my parents' vegetable garden, picking fresh veggies for supper.  When I was 13, I worked in a greenhouse transplanting tomatoes and petunias after school.  I always helped with the family flower gardens, mostly with weeding.  When I had my own property, I spent many hours in my vegetable and flower gardens and did not realize how gardening could be a sharing experience until someone invited me to a garden club.  I belonged to the Westmount Garden Club for 15 years, serving in many club offices before moving to Bedford where I joined the Bedford Horticultural Society.  I have been a Horticultural Judge through NSAGC since 1999 and am still judging and encouraging others to participate in shows.  I enjoy gardening, giving demonstrations, taking pictures of my plants and critters, and sharing gardening experiences with others.  I have been inspired by Garden Club Conventions,  learned lots from other club members, and made many friends through my gardening activities.

Past Chairperson
Patsy MacKenzie: email:

My love of gardening started at a very early age in my grandfather's garden walking among his huge bed of Dahlia's & admiring my grandmother's window boxes filled with red geraniums. I started dabbling with garden's in the 1990's but my full passion for gardening blossomed around the year 2000. I had been seriously hurt in a MVA & gardening helped me heal. It was then I joined the North Sydney Garden Club, soon followed by joining the NSAGC Board - 1st as Photo Chair, Awards Chair & now NSAGC Chair. I've found many friends who share the same passion & the learning never stops! I live on beautiful Boularderie Island in Cape Breton with an acre devoted to my flower gardening. Gardening provides color & brings many birds to my yard all year long.

Susan Hazelwood: 902-469-3661 email:

I bought a house in downtown Dartmouth in the early 90’s that had couple of gardens that I basically ignored for about 5 years.  Eventually I realized that I would have to do something to keep them going or I would soon have large patches of weeds.  I took a couple of courses on garden design and slowly started to remake existing and create new gardens.  I joined the Dartmouth Horticultural Society to learn as much as I could from the members and the excellent speakers.  I am now the president of DHS and still learning at every meeting.

Janet Simpson: email:

N.S.A.G.C. Directors

Cape Breton District #1
Joanne Ford: email:

My earliest memories are of my mother’s peonies and of my grandfather’s vegetable garden. As a child I was amazed by the magical whimsical delights that Mother Nature provided thru gardens. I’m pleased to say that this feeling has never left, and the pull from the garden is just as strong now, as when I was 6 years Old. In 2007 I bought a home in Sydney and I would joke about how I would be removing a good portion of the sod each year to plant perennials, and to date, I’ve been true to that task. In 2010, I started bringing my children to the North Sydney Exhibition, and gradually my son and I started to enter flower competitions. It was through this activity that we met the ladies from the North Sydney Garden Club. They were always so welcoming and knowledgeable. Last fall, wanting to be more like them, I inquired as to how to join… and they had me at hello! My children are teenagers now, and my garden too has matured a little, but it will always remain my sanctuary, and I treasure it dearly. I love to share my perennials, and gardening secrets, and to learn new ones, from new and old friends alike. This year I felt honored and privileged to be going to my very first NSAGC Convention. I am also very pleased to be Director of District # 1 (Cape Breton) and am looking forward to it. I have only one saying, and that’s “Gardening doesn’t start in the Spring, it starts in January with the dream”. 

Eastern District #2
Sharon Bryson:

I have been gardening for over forty years and have been associated with The Antigonish Garden Club since 1988. Since 1999 I have gardened with my husband Bill Wilgenhof here at "The Willow Garden" in Maryvale, Antigonish County. We have actively extolled the joys of gardening for many years. I have been the Seed Exchange Chair for The Atlantic Rhododendron & Horticultural Society for almost fifteen years; a job which fits in nicely with the love of all things “seedy”. Growing plants from seed has been an active pursuit here for many years. Some restraint is now in order as we age and run out of proper gardening space. We always welcome visitors to our garden. I look forward to being a Director and having the opportunity to get to know more gardeners both in our District and throughout the province.

Central District #3 North
Elsie Locke:

Central District #3 South
Elizabeth Hill: email:

Gardening is in my blood.  As a youngster we had a huge vegetable garden to feed a large family that I, along with my four brothers and sister, had to weed and look after and harvest.  Mom also had many flower gardens, shrubs and trees. As I grew older I lived on a dairy farm where we also grew a large vegetable garden along with grain and turnip. For the past 30 plus years I have worked as a Heritage Interpreter at the Lawrence House Museum in Maitland. I have belonged to many organizations such as Women’s Institute, East Hants Ground Search and Rescue, Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters and now Hants North Late Bloomers Garden Club.  I have held many positions in these organizations. At the present time I am president of our garden club which I joined the first year we started. I now live on two acres of land in Selma and have many flower gardens, shrubs and trees.  I enjoy gardening, photography, being outside and nature.  I love to feed the birds and work in the dirt. I enjoy reading about plants and birds, sharing the knowledge I acquire and hopefully put that knowledge into practice.  I am a people person who loves meeting new people, getting to know them and interacting with them. My connecting with nature starts early in the morning, in the growing season, with my camera in hand and a stroll around my gardens to see what has a new leaf or what has a new bud, blossom or flower and pull a few weeds along my journey.  I listen to the birds and all the other sounds of nature around me.  I take pictures of whatever strikes my fancy and I thoroughly enjoy this time of day. I hope being Director of Central District 3 South will give me many opportunities to meet other gardeners, attend other garden club meetings, district meetings and conventions to learn and share with others.

Halifax District #4
Kathy Harvie:

I grew up in the Annapolis Valley and spent a lot of time following my father around, either in the garden or in the barn. My father liked a vegetable garden, he was never much for flowers. I always wanted a few flowers, and usually had a few too. I followed the footsteps of many Nova Scotians and moved to Alberta to find work. I started to establish a garden there and joined the Edmonton Horticultural Society. One day, it was time to move home. I returned to the Valley and a few years later, I had the chance to return to school where I took the Horticultural course at Kingstec, now NSCC. After the one year course I started taking some correspondence courses from University of Guelph, and eventually obtained my Diploma in Landscape Design.

While I was attending Kingstec, my instructor, Peter Harvey, was a guest speaker at a Wilmot Garden Club meeting. I decided to attend that evening. When some of the members found out I had grown up in the area, they adopted me. I went on to become secretary of the club, and at the time there was talk that I would replace the district director. A move to Windsor put those plans on the back burner. I joined the Haliburton Garden Club, and eventually the Mount Denson club as well.

After a marriage breakup I moved to Bedford and took a break from garden clubs for a couple of years, but then I started missing being part of a garden club. A friend was a member of the Mayflower Club, so I joined that with her, and became instrumental in bringing that club into the NSAGC. Then I joined the Bedford Horticultural Society, and decided to keep a low profile for a couple of years. Currently I am the program chair for the Bedford Horticultural Society. I look forward to my new position as District Director and getting to know the various people in the other clubs.

Valley District #5
Debra Carey:  email:

I have been a Wilmot Garden Club member for about 5 years, served as secretary for 2 years, presently the chair of the Memorial Scholarship Committee, and a new member on the Programs Committee this year.  I am also a member of the Annapolis Valley African Violet Society, an affiliate club in this district, and I grow many violets. I am presently a african violet student judge and hope to become an accredited AV judge in the near future. 

Background: I did a BSc Plant Biology at Acadia, and 2 separate years of horticulture at Kingstec, studied under Peter Harvey.  Worked in various garden centers in Alberta in purchasing and selling, merchandising and displays, landscaping and retail.  Love gardening and the color green best of all.  Am looking forward to visiting all the clubs in District 5, and am hoping for lots of feedback of events and dates.

South Shore #6
Sue Gilmore:

I have been interested in gardening since I was a child. My mother and next door neighbour both had small flower gardens where I first learned the common names of plants. I have been gardening in various places for 30 years, retired from military so was posted to different gardens!  I now live in the country so am plagued by deer and lack of water. I also have chickens, ducks and turkeys who occasionally find their way to my gardens. Sometimes I find eggs hidden under a plant.
I think my favorite part of gardening is sharing plants and having a memory of all those people who shared plants with me in my gardens. Always makes me smile walking around the gardens.
I am in the New Germany Garden Club and was secretary for 3 years. I am also in the Bridgewater Garden Club and have been the Advertising Rep for 3 years. I enjoy getting together with gardeners to share our experiences.
I also enjoy our local garden tours and  take garden tours around the globe to see how people garden in other places in the world.
My mother entered specimens in Dartmouth when I was a child. When I inherited her specimen vases, I threw caution to the wind and entered in the Forties Flower Show 7 years ago. I had so much fun there with the ladies, they adopted me on the spot and I helped in the kitchen getting ready for the shows. I learned lots from them. I started flower arrangements about 3 years ago entering in the Bridgewater Flower Show, the Forties and the Bridgewater Ex. I enjoy walking around with the ladies who entered with me to see the results and have a ummy luncheon as well.
I look forward to going to the Conventions. They are a whirl wind of speakers, vendors and great comaraderie.
My second hobby is cooking, I should say eating but in order to eat... so I grow lots of herbs to experiment.
I am happiest outside in nature, puttering in the gardens and listening to the birds and watching insects.
I am looking forward to meeting all the garden clubs in the District and spreading their ideas to each club.

Western District #7
Kathy d'Entremont: email:

N.S.A.G.C Committees
Dixie Cress: 902-538-0741 email:


Paul Despres: 902-847-1001 email: NSAGC Webmaster

NSAGC Newsletter
Ann Jones: email:

I am very pleased to be your new “Scotia Gardener” editor. I look forward to receiving your submissions and getting to know fellow gardeners from across Nova Scotia. Having moved to Yarmouth from Ottawa in 1996, I appreciate how wonderful gardening is in Nova Scotia – particularly in Yarmouth. We moved from having a 40’X80’ house lot to having to fill over 4 acres - but it wasn’t that hard. I discovered that roses grow here – in fact, almost everything grows here – and grows and grows! I joined the Yarmouth Garden Club in 1997, serving as Secretary, President and Newsletter Editor. The Club has been essential to my survival as a gardener.

Photo Contest
Pamela MacLean: email:

Awards Contest:
Eileen Pease: email:

Future Projects
Arthur Haskins: 902-668-2838 email:

I became involved in gardening at a very early age helping my father plant nasturtium seeds in a large planter. A city boy, having been born and brought up in Halifax, I somehow managed after high school to find my way to the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro. After graduating I worked at Dalhousie University for three years before accepting a position with the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Marketing in Truro. In 1974, I purchased a home and property in Great Village just outside of Truro and began my gardening journey. I joined the Great Village Garden Club and made many gardening friends and in a few years found myself as president.
I started attending the NSAGC Conventions and decided to accept the position as NSAGC Representative for the Central District. I have held a number of positions on the board over the years and have enjoyed working with this fine group of dedicated gardeners. I am currently president of the Great Village Garden Club, a past president of the Dahlia Society of Nova Scotia, and I’m currently on the Board of Directors of the American Dahlia Society as National Exhibitions Chairperson. I garden on about an acre of land and grow a number of flowers and a few vegetables. Dahlias and Hosta are my main interests and take up most of the flower beds. My other main interest is in Scuba Diving and I enjoy the plant life and change of seasons under the sea just as much as on land. For me belonging to a gardening group with individuals of similar interests is one of life’s many joys.

Don Butler: 902-926-2589,

I have always had an interest in agriculture.  From my earliest days growing up on a farm in Pictou County,  through my years of studies at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College  and onto working as a District 4-H Representative with the N.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Soon after returning to my rural roots in 1995 we formed the Lismore & District Garden Club. Our  fellowship, sharing of knowledge and sense of community have all added to making for a strong gardening group.  One particular project I feel very good about is working with our junior gardeners.  Their enthusiasm can be contagious and with them lies our future.

Tags and Seals
Valerie Despres: email: