Community Papers

Castlegar Garden Club presents willow expert

Horticulture expert Jim Brockmeyer of Bluestem Nurseries will be giving a presentation on Jan. 16 at the Castlegar Complex. - Submitted
Horticulture expert Jim Brockmeyer of Bluestem Nurseries will be giving a presentation on Jan. 16 at the Castlegar Complex.
— image credit: Submitted

Castlegar Garden Club guest speaker Jim Brockmeyer of Bluestem Nursery will give a presentation and slideshow ‘Willows the Familiar Stranger’, on Jan. 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Community Complex. Everyone welcome. Free admission.

Jim Brockmeyer, horticultural legend in the field of willows and ornamental grasses, will share his expertise on willows.  As Jim says, “willows are everywhere, but we really don’t know them.” Jim’s knowledge is prodigious and his enthusiasm contagious.

Willow aficionados in Canada and the US, are spurring the wave of willow interest across North America. Living willow tunnels, pergolas and fences are setting a trend in botanical gardens, public spaces, playgrounds, and backyards. Ornamental, winter interest, hedges/fedges, branches and catkins for flower arranging, basket making, twig furniture, creeping alpine willows, the only limits are one’s imagination. Willow caskets are popular in England for their environmental friendliness.

Jim’s original inspiration for Bluestem Nursery was determining which ornamental grasses were sufficiently cold hardy for the cold Canadian environment. Jim Brockmeyer started collecting ornamental grasses and building up his stock in 1989. By 1994, Bluestem Nursery was British Columbia’s first wholesale nursery specializing in ornamental grasses. A 1996 Gardens West article by Jim kicked off the mail-order retail division.

Local interest in willows inspired Jim to diversify into willows in 1996. Bluestem is now one of the preeminent suppliers of willows and grasses in both Canada and the United States, with 45 varieties of willows and 122 ornamental grasses available.

With lots of help, the website first went online in 2003, beginning its development into the current 300+ page resource of information and images on willows and ornamental grasses.

The Castlegar Garden Club welcomes new members. For further information contact Rose Cheveldave 250.365.9600 or



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