Root & Branch at Secret Gardens Tour (July 14)

New Dance Horizons’ Secret Gardens Tour is a self-directed pilgrimage through several privately-owned Regina gardens, showcasing unique approaches to yard design and landscape architecture. Running July 13-15, 2012, participants are invited to explore the exquisite day gardens on July 14 & 15 and enjoy the dazzling spectacle of noctural gardens July 13 & 14.

As part of this year’s tour, I’ve curated and am hosting a speaker series that will be held in one of the featured gardens on Saturday July 14. Starting at 12:30 and running every half hour until 3:00 pm, there will be a series of short (10-15 minute) talks and performances by six inspired local artists, activists, academics and nature lovers. They will explore a diverse range of topics, from medicinal gardens to edible weeds, and from attracting bird life to foraging for urban fruit.

Please check out the Speaker Series program below. For more information about the the Secret Gardens Tour and to purchase tickets, check out

Secret Gardens Tour Speaker Series

Saturday, July 14, 12-4 pm

12:30 pm            Tara Dawn Solheim

Tara has been commissioned to create original poetry and music for the CBC, dance shows, music festivals and the MacKenzie Art Gallery. She spent five years in Japan, where she sang with and wrote for bands. Tara’s original poetry and music draw on blues and jazz from the 1920-30’s and early rock ’n’ roll. She will be performing a selection of her songs and spoken word poetry.

1:00 pm                        Tanya Dahms

Dr. Tanya Dahms is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Regina, co-founder of the Saskatchewan Regional Center of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development ( and co-owner of Valley Forest Organics. An avid believer in edible lawns, Tanya farms her urban yard and delights in replacing sod monoculture with food and native prairie plants. She will share the wonder and magic of working with, not against, the edible and medicinal “weeds” that abound in our urban ecosystems.

1:30 pm                        Shayna Stock

Shayna Stock is a writer and community builder who moved to Regina from Sarnia, Ontario, in 2007. Her poetry explores themes as diverse as social and environmental justice, her beloved bicycle, creativity, privilege, and heartbreak. Shayna is founder and host of Regina’s only monthly poetry slam, Word Up Wednesday. She will perform a selection of her original spoken word poetry.

2:00 pm                        Katherine Arbuthnott (Fruit for Thought)

Dr. Katherine Arbuthnott will speak about Fruit for Thought, a Regina-based urban fruit foraging organization that creates awareness of environmentally sustainable practices and reduces food waste by harvesting unwanted fruit from local trees and bushes around the city. A portion of the fruit goes to owner, a portion to volunteers and the rest to local shelters and food banks. Come learn more about this innovative organization.

2:30 pm                        Erin Laing

Erin Laing is a gardener, midwifery student, doula, and chartered herbalist-in-training. An advocate for peace through food security, gentle birth, community and compassion, Erin will explore the intersections between health, birth, and the medicinal garden.

3:00 pm                        Jennipher Karst

A longtime bird and nature lover, Jennipher Karst has participated in numerous ornithological research projects in habitats that range from prairie to arctic tundra to boreal forest to subtropical coastal wetland. She has been an active member of Nature Regina, Nature Saskatchewan, and the Wings Over Wascana Nature Festival, where she has led annual nature hikes and birding tours. Jennipher’s interpretive garden tour will explore botany, beasts, and strategies for attracting birdlife into urban settings.

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