Burnett: Lend your gardening expertise

Hands in Service has started a program that provides clients with planters that fit on their balcony or patio.

Often listed as a favourite pastime in the obituaries, gardening’s popularity spans the ages, and has no preference to a person’s means.

I recently spent a few hours at my old stomping grounds, Bylands Garden Centre, and had a great time helping their customers with plant suggestions and general problem solving.

It was nice to see some familiar faces as well as talk to people whom I had never met before.

Some needed practical advice regarding weed control, fertilizing, pruning and general maintenance.

Others were interested in the latest introductions to the plant selection we have here in the Okanagan, and still others wanted help to make their vegetable garden more productive.

Gardening is a healthful activity both for mind and body.

It is a great self esteem booster when things go right and can be somewhat challenging when some things don’t.

But when a problem is solved and success is realized, there is nothing more rewarding.

Gardening can also be quite addictive although there are certainly worse things out there to be addicted to.

Gardening has a broad spectrum of definitions from growing potted plants on the window sill to large scale estate gardening all with similar rewards and challenges.

Some people have been gardening since being introduced to it as children while others pick it up as adults but usually once a gardener always a gardener.

About a month ago, I was approached by Pam Watland, a coordinator with an organization called Hands in Service.

These people play a special part in the lives of folk who can’t for various reasons do many of the activities most people take for granted; housekeeping and grocery shopping for instance.

Pam told me they have a program started last year that provides clients with planters that fit on the balcony or patio so their clients can enjoy that popular activity called gardening that is so rewarding to all of us.

The program is called Living Salads, and it was realized from last year’s experience that the project would be better met if they could match each client receiving a planter with a gardening mentor.

What a great idea! I don’t know of any gardener out there who doesn’t love sharing his or her expertise with others.

And from a human standpoint, what a great way to connect with our fellow brothers and sisters who do not have quite the same opportunity as we.

Hands in Service is  looking for volunteers who can be of service from May to early October.

This would entail about 1/2 hour per week in time but the rewards would be priceless.

While a little gardening expertise would be an asset, for my part I have committed to provide the necessary cultural support when needed so for novice gardeners this could be a win-win situation.

The folk at Living Salads is looking for up to 100 volunteers and this says to me there is a real need for this endeavour.

For more information and to find out how you can get involved call:

For more info about the program, call Pam Watland at 250-861-5465 or email pam@handsinservice.ca.