Visitors view the floral displays at the Bradner Flower Show at Bradner Hall. FILE PHOTO

Bradner Flower Show a ‘blast from the past’

Community event going strong after 90 years, returns on April 13-15 weekend

If you look closely at a daffodil, the very intricacy of the flower – the extension of the trumpet – there are few flowers more incredible looking in all of nature.

That beauty was exactly what inspired Fenwick Fatkin to embark on a venture so many years ago that has resulted in Bradner becoming known as “The Daffodil Capital of Canada.”

Who could have guessed, that when Fenwick Fatkin started the Bradner Flower Show in 1928 that it would still be going strong? The first Flower Show took place in his living room, or parlor, as it was then called. It was modeled after the very popular parlor shows that were held in his native England.

When the show was in its beginnings, there were only 10 types of daffodils on display. Today there are over 400. When Fenwick and Charlotte Fatkin moved to Bradner from England via Vancouver, he recognized right away that the area’s climate and soil would be perfect for growing daffodils.

This year will mark the 90th year the show has been in existence. The Bradner Flower Show is one of the most revered traditions in Bradner’s long list of historic and community events. This year’s show will celebrate the Bradner community’s history by honoring Fenwick with the show’s theme “Blast From the Past.”

Amazingly, members of the Fatkin family still farm daffodils in Bradner and are still actively volunteering at the show! In fact, Pauline (Fatkin) Isherwood, granddaughter of Fenwick, is the show’s chairperson – quite a legacy.

As we celebrate 90 years of the Bradner Flower Show, we are also privileged to have as our special guest Brian Minter, well known gardening expert and Vancouver Sun columnist (also Minter Gardens and Minter Country Garden). Brian will appear at the show’s opening at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 13 with a “Q & A” following, so bring all of your thoughts and questions for him.

This year’s show will offer all of your favourites including great displays, delicious food in the tearoom, crafts, artwork, wine tasting and gardening experts. There will be loads of plants, shrubs and cut flowers on sale at well below retail prices from local growers who do not normally sell to the public.

In honor of this year’s event, the Botanus company has put together a 90th anniversary collection of bulbs which are varieties developed in Bradner. The collection will be available for sale at the show.

The school gymnasium will be open on Saturday and Sunday, which will be chock full of items from local craftsmen. This year the bar will be open from 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Musical guests at the show include the much loved Bradner Hand Bells at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Friday, traditional fiddler Anne Guite with guitarist Kurt Langmann on Saturday afternoon, and singer/songwriter Ryan McAllister on Sunday afternoon. Local pianist Sue McKenzie will also be tinkling the ivories at various times throughout the show.

Don’t miss this great community event. The Bradner Flower show takes place, at Bradner Community Hall and Bradner School, 5305 Bradner Rd., Abbotsford on April 13, 14 and 15. Doors open from 10 a.m. to 5 pm daily. Admission is still only $2, and as always, all funds from the sale of cut flowers will be donated to the Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

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