Demonstration garden coordinator Emily Lorenz is surrounded by wild roses at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum in Langley. The flowers are pollinated by bees, which was the theme of the first ever festival of the bees at the official opening day of the Fraser Highway garden. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

VIDEO: All about bees at Langley festival

First-ever event part of official opening day at demonstration garden in Derek Doubleday Arboretum

The first ever Festival of the Bees marked the season opening of the Langley Demonstration Garden Saturday.

“We’re celebrating all things pollinators,” said Emily Lorenz, demonstration garden coordinator.

“Educating folks on what they (bees) do and how they play such a big role is really important.”

Bees play a crucial role in the ecosystem, pollinated flowers and other plants, and the local varieties are unlikely to sting, Lorenz said.

“I would say a bigger thing to worry about is wasps.”

At the free event, participants could make beeswax candles, seed bombs, and mason bee houses, have their faces painted, and enter to win pollinator-related prizes.

A plant sale, seed swap and live music was held and guests are invited to wear a bee, butterfly or other springtime costume.

The garden is located in the Derek Doubleday Arboretum in the 21200 block of Fraser.

The garden was established more than a quarter-century ago by the Township of Langley in partnership with the Langley Environmental Partners Society, to teach residents chemical-free and WaterWise tips and techniques for keeping gardens and yards thriving and healthy for people, wildlife and the environment.

Garden staff will be on hand at the facility throughout the summer to answer questions and offer advice, and a number of workshops, camps and special events will be held.

A free Seniors’ Gardening Club for those aged 50-plus will run every Monday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., weather permitting and a series of free Garden Smart Workshops will also be offered, starting Wednesday, May 23.

Additional workshops include Weaving with Invasive Species, Container Gardening for Kids, Flower and Garden Photography with John Gordon, Wild Edible Foraging, Beginners Guide to Zero Waste, DIY Soaps and Natural Cleaning Products, and Waste Not.

To register for workshops, email garden@leps.bc.ca or call 604.546.0344. For more information, visit leps.bc.ca/education.

Picnics in the Park will be held in the Demonstration Garden on Tuesday, June 19 and Tuesday, July 24, at 7 p.m. Members of the public can bring a picnic, take a garden tour, and enjoy fun activities for the whole family. Some barbecue items and snacks will be available by donation. Registration is not required, but large groups are encouraged to RSVP.

The Langley Demonstration Garden holds its Blackberry Bake-Off and Open House on Wednesday, Aug. 15, from noon to 3 p.m. Chefs must submit their creations by 12:15 p.m., with tastings starting at 12:45 p.m.. A locally-sourced barbecue will be available for $5 and a kids’ craft corner and live music will be offered. Registration is not required, unless a culinary creation is being entered.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Benches of Diversity unveiled at Derek Doubleday Arboretum

READ MORE: VIDEO: Vimy Oak planted at Rivers Day festival



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

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