Master Gardener Brian Minter of Chilliwack was named Person of the Year for 2015 by the Canadian Garden Council.
Minter is a lively garden writer, in-demand professional speaker and avid horticulturist.
It’s only the second year the Garden Council has handed out its prestigious award for individuals who’ve made a difference in gardening communications and promotion on a broad scale.
“Oh well, they’re allowed to make one mistake,” Minter quipped when asked about being chosen as the Person of the Year award by The Progress.
The importance of enthusiastically promoting gardening and a love of plants as a key tourism draw for B.C. is a topic that Brian Minter knows extremely well.
“Gardens are huge in terms of visitor impact,” he says.
There’s been a societal shift with respect to plants and gardening, he argues, and people are gravitating back to it.
“Because we are living so densely in cities, space for a garden has been virtually disappearing, putting more emphasis onto our parks and gardens and green spaces.”
There’s also been a shift from the soft green colour of laurels and junipers, to plants with big impact and colour.
Minter is feeling humbled and buoyed by the recognition, having also recently won the North American Perennial Plant Association Award of Merit and the Hall of Fame Award from Garden Writers’ Association for lifetime achievement.
“It feels so incredibly nice to be recognized this way and so appreciated,” he said.
Minter couldn’t attend the actual award presentation in person last week however.
“I couldn’t go to Toronto as I had a speaking engagement at VanDusen Gardens, and I felt badly but I had to honour my commitment. But when I notified the Garden Council, they told me that’s exactly the reason why I was given the award.’”
Minter was one of five B.C. recipients honoured at the 2015 conference.
CANADIAN GARDEN TOURISM AWARDS
1. Garden of the Year Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens, NS Sponsored by: Canadian Nursery Landscape Association 2. Botanical Garden of the Year Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden, NFLD 3. New Garden Experience of the Year UBC Botanical Garden Greenheart Canopy Walk, BC Sponsored by: Canadian Nursery Landscape Association 4. Garden Destination of the Year Niagara Falls, ON Sponsored by: Baxter Travel Media 5. Garden Festival of the Year: Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, BC 6. Flower Festival of the Year Canadian Tulip Festival, ON Sponsored by: VIA Rail Canada 7. Garden Event of the Year Allan Gardens at Christmas, ON Sponsored by: VIA Rail Canada 8. Flower Event of the Year MUN Botanical Garden’s Pink Days in Bloom, NFLD 9. Garden Exhibition of the Year Earth Art – Royal Botanical Gardens, ON 10 Destination Garden Centre of the Year Rideau Woodland Ramble, ON 11. Community of the Year Town of Boissevain, MB Sponsored by: Communities in Bloom 12. Initiative of the Year Misa Tours International, QC 13. Website of the Year The Butchart Gardens, BC 14. Person of the Year Brian Minter, BC Sponsored by: Baxter Travel Media 15. Journalist of the Year Steve Whysall, BC Sponsored by: Enterprise Canada 16. Media of the Year Canadian Gardening Magazine, ON Sponsored by: Enterprise Canada 17. Honourable Mention Fleurs Plantes Jardins Magazine – 25th Anniversary, QC 18. Honourable Mention
Halifax Public Gardens – Outstanding National Recognition”