The Friends of Summerland Ornamental Gardens society is hosting an Autumn Garden Tour on Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Spring gardening is very easy to do, it is nature’s calling for an explosion of flowers. In the Fall you have to be do more planning and instead of lots of flowers you get textures, foilages of colour,” said Eva Antonijevic, community programs director for the Friends of Summerland Ornamental Gardens.
The tour promises something for everyone, from avid gardeners to casual park strollers.
“This is the first time an autumn tour has been held in the Okanagan and we are starting to get quite a bit of interest,” said Antonijevic.
There are nine venues, including seven creative spectacular private gardens and two inspiring public gardens on the tour.
Works of art by Okanagan artists and artisans will be on display at three gardens, while at two gardens gourmet treats and refreshments will be provided by chefs from Créperie OooLaLa and True Grain Bread. Wine tastings are available from Summerland Bottleneck Drive wineries, Thornhaven Estate and Okanagan Crush Pad.
Each garden on this self-guided tour was chosen for its individual style of landscaping, landscape architecture and plant choices, with a special focus on edible, natural and water-wise design.
A few of the other highlights include a professional nursery manager’s test garden and playground, spectacular views from a new garden courtyard, an enchanting Southwest-style garden and leafy lush oasis for birds.
Tour participants will be able to see which native plants are the most decorative, see time-tested drought tolerant lawngrasses and dryland landscaping plants, compare different composting techniques and see methods of growing food crops throughout the year.
Besides this fundraiser, the Friends of Summerland Ornamental Gardens is a great resource.
“We pay two part-time gardeners and host lots of work parties for gardeners in training and volunteers. This is a great community resource to learn about these things. We also reach out to the community and last year hosted 140 school children, who put in 4,500 plants. Teachers told us that children love this because they are infatuated with nature and some have never even seen the root of a plant. We also work with multi-cultural groups visiting the area and want to tour the gardens,” said Antonijevic.
At the Autumn Garden Tour participants will be able to speak and ask questions to Friends of Summerland Gardens members, master gardeners.
All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the society. Tickets are $20 and available from the Summerland Visitors Centre, DeLong Studio, True Grain Bread, Martin’s Flowers, Art Knapp’s Penticton and West Kelowna, Bylands Garden Centre and Dogwood Nursery.