Bradner Flower Show celebrates ‘blast from the past’

Community event going strong in Abbotsford after 90 years, returns April 13-15

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, it would still be going strong?

This year’s show takes place Friday, April 13 to Sunday, April 15 at Bradner Community Hall and Elementary School, 5305 Bradner Rd. Doors are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The first flower show took place in Fatkin’s living room, or parlour, as it was then called. It was modelled after the popular parlour 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 more than 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, and it will honour Fenwick with the show’s theme “Blast from the Past.”

Members of the Fatkin family still farm daffodils in Bradner and are still actively volunteering at the show. Pauline (Fatkin) Isherwood, granddaughter of Fenwick, is the show’s chairperson.

This year’s show features special guest Brian Minter, well-known gardening expert and newspaper columnist (also Minter Gardens and Minter Country Garden).

He will appear at the show’s opening at 2 p.m. on Friday, and will answer questions.

The event also features displays, 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 honour 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, and will be full of items from local craftspeople. This year the bar will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Musical guests at the show include the 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.

Admission is $2, and all funds from the sale of cut flowers will be donated to the Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

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