A Gardener’s Diary: Evidence of hard work

Jocelyne Sewell goes on the People Place Garden Tour and finds beauty at every turn

The weather was just perfect last Saturday for the People Place Garden Tour: not too hot and a few clouds.

The Kalamalka Demonstration Garden and Patchwork Farms at Okanagan College was very informative. Some volunteers were on site to take visitors around. The following information is from the college’s Web site:

“This garden is open to the public from May to September and always welcomes volunteers.

“Okanagan College – Vernon Campus has built a demonstration garden on two acres overlooking Kalamalka Lake. The garden includes Patchwork Farms, (a community farm), xeriscape areas, a food forest, rain gardens and a new agrarian initiative.

“The garden has been designed to exhibit sustainable practices and endeavours to continually improve water management through installing water conservation features.

“At the garden and farm, there is ongoing education and skill-building through practical applications and inclusive recreational opportunities for people living with physical, developmental, and mental conditions.”

All other gardens were a joy to visit. Every one of them was very different and worth the time. If you garden, you know the amount of time put into these parcels of heaven. I really enjoyed all the beautiful and huge hostas in some of the sites. Some hanging baskets and planters were so well-made and just looked great. The ponds were nice and peaceful. It was just a very nice and relaxing day. It is inspiring to see so many different plants and now I will try to improve some of my flower beds.

This week the Intergenerational Landed Learning Program affiliated with the Okanagan Science Centre will wrap-up at St. James Catholic School, completing five years of food growing in the Xerindipity Garden and the last three years at the school site. The program partners Grade 3 and 4 students with community volunteers throughout the school year to plant, care for and prepare food from the vegetables grown in the garden. On each gardening day Jan Hillis, a local retired dietitian, guides the children through food preparation and sampling of the food that they grow organically and harvest from the raised beds.

The students will be out of school shortly for the summer. Where did the time go? The plants are doing well and some of the sunflowers are already blooming. With so little rain this year, there was a lot of watering to do but everything is growing nicely. Some of the vegetables will be out now but this leaves room to grow for the tomato, squash, pepper and many other plants. The rest will be harvested when they are back in school.

For more information: 250-558-4556 or plantlady1@shaw.ca

Jocelyne Sewell is an organic gardening enthusiast in the North Okanagan and member of Okanagan Gardens & Roses Club. Her column appears every other Wednesday.

Vernon Morning Star