Lifestyle

Steele: Award winning gardening author coming to Kelowna

Award-winning author Sara Williams will visit the Okanagan from May 29 to 31 to give two presentations and attend a book signing event.

Now retired, Williams was the horticultural specialist at the University of Saskatchewan.

She is the author of many gardening books and regularly gives presentations and workshops throughout western Canada.

We are grateful to the Kelowna Garden Club for bringing Williams to Kelowna to give a presentation entitled Perennials: Basic and Beyond.

That presentation takes place Thursday, May 29, 7 p.m., at the Okanagan College campus theatre (Student Services Building) on KLO Road.

Admission is free, donations invited.

Perennials are my favourite type of plant so I’m really looking forward to this.

I first became aware of Williams in 1997 when I discovered her new book Creating the Prairie Xeriscape.

I was thrilled. I had discovered the Principles of Xeriscape in 1992, but the few books I had found were all from the U.S.

Her book was perfect for the Okanagan and all the plants were hardy for our climate.

There are close to 900 species in the plant catalogue, with many photos and good descriptions.

Additionally, there are very useful plant tables making it easy to find the plants that suit your conditions.

In my opinion, it has the best, easy to follow explanation of the Seven Principles of Xeriscape.

Also there are sidebars of quick facts for easy reference.

Williams has been gardening for more than 20 years on five acres of sand near Saskatoon—good practical experience for writing the book.

Because Creating the Prairie Xeriscape is such a good reference, I have been selling it in my classes for years.

Much to my dismay, the book went out of print about four years ago.

However, the new edition which came out last year has 100 more pages and many more coloured photos, but still sells at the same price, $34.95.

The Okanagan Xeriscape Association is delighted to host a book signing event for Williams on Friday, May 30, from 10 to 11a.m., at the unH2O Xeriscape Garden in front of the H2O Aquatic Centre, 4075 Gordon Dr.

Come and meet Williams, and enjoy seeing what is blooming in the ever-changing, lush xeriscape gardens.

She will have books for sale. If you already have a copy, bring your book to be signed.

On Saturday, May 31, from 10 a.m. to noon, she will be in Summerland at the Odd Fellows Hall, 9536 Main St.

This free event is sponsored by the Summerland Ornamental Gardens. The topic will be xeriscape landscaping.

I have heard Williams speak several times on a variety of topics. They have all been enjoyable and informative as are all of her books.

I hope you will be able to attend at least one of these free events.

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