Steele: September highlight for fall season

Although there are a number of late spring/early summer garden tours in the valley, I think this is the first fall tour.

Blooming ornamental grasses add a bold autumn statement in the Summerland Ornamental Gardens.

Two exciting new gardening events take place next weekend in Summerland and Kelowna.

Friends of the Summerland Ornamental Gardens have organized their first Autumn Garden Tour for Saturday, Sept. 28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Although there are a number of late spring/early summer garden tours in the valley, I think this is the first fall tour. It will provide new inspiration for late season gardening.

The self-guided tour includes seven private Summerland gardens; the Dr. Andrew Pavilion Therapeutic Garden; and an art show, guided tours of the house and gardens, and plants for sale at Summerland Ornamental Gardens (SOG).

Gardens range from three years to thirty. Parts of the SOG date back to 1916. When parking, check its new Welcome Garden.

Three gardens feature xeriscape plants. One has a buffalo grass lawn and woolly thyme as a lawn substitute. Another has an eco-turf lawn (low-mow, low-grow, low-water) as well as a hedge of native Rocky Mountain juniper (a substitute for water-thirsty cedars).

One front lawn has been replaced entirely with a lovely xeriscape garden featuring native species.

Six gardens include creative food gardens and three have greenhouses extending the growing season. One garden has a cold storage room and Mason bee houses.

Two artists will have studios open during the tour allowing their indoor and outdoor creativity to be viewed.

Two will have wine tasting and food—Okanagan Crush Pad Winery and Creperie OooLaLa in one and Thornhaven Winery and True Grain Bakery in the other.

One private garden and the SOG have many varieties of ornamental grasses in their full autumn glory.

Available from Art Knapps, Bylands and Dogwood nurseries, tickets are $20.

Proceeds go to the non-profit Friends of the Summerland Ornamental Gardens who maintain and enhance the gardens(www.summerlandornamentalgardens.org).

In Kelowna, a guided bicycle tour of seven eco-friendly, lawn-free front yards has been organized by ‘Turf the Turf’ for Sept. 27, 28  and 29. It’s a National Culture Days event.

The gardens illustrate many creative and productive ways to use a front yard.

Starting at the Kelowna Art Gallery, this unique event is an easy 6 kilometre, two hour bicycle tour on flat streets. It’s child friendly. You need to supply your own bike, helmet and mp3 audio device.

I’m looking forward to assisting with guiding Sept. 27. Pre-registration is essential for these free tours with a limit of ten participants/tour. For more information and to register on-line, go to  http://turftheturf.wordpress.com.

‘Turf the Turf’ is a project funded by a City of Kelowna Community Arts Grant and the UBCO Eco-Arts Incubator. Thanks goes to Maggie Shirley for creating the tour and to gardeners who shared their stories to help others who want to get rid of high-maintenance, water-thirsty lawns.

Just Posted

Kelowna’s strategy to address homelessness making headway says city

More than $830,000 of the $2.7 million needed to get the strategy going has now been raised

Demolish it or we will, City of Kelowna staff tell owners of derelict former motel

Former Ponderosa Motel is unsafe and used by squatters, drug users and the homeless says city

Kelowna firm encourages annual medication reviews for seniors

Accessible way for families to advocate for their elderly parents

Opening a pot shop in Kelowna will be costly

City to charge a total of $10,500 just to apply and get rezoning for a store

Kelowna rapper, Mr. Wisdom addresses the opioid crisis with his music

The musician says he has lost at least 25 of his friends to date

Your morning news in 90: Sept. 25, 2018

Tune in for 90 seconds to get the top headlines for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

U.S. worker charged after video shows him spitting on cusomer’s pizza

Jaylon Kerley of Detroit is charged with a felony count of food law violations

Andrew Weaver congratulates New Brunswick on electing first Green caucus

Election win means there are now three provincial Green Party caucuses in Canada

Around the BCHL: Merritt’s Matthew Kopperud nets Sun Devil scholarship

Around the BCHL is a look at the BCHL and goings-on throughout the junior A world.

Father, 9-year-old son killed in crash along B.C. highway

RCMP say family of five was hit head-on by a pickup truck north of Williams Lake

2 B.C. police departments won’t use new saliva test to detect high drivers

The Dräger DrugTest 5000 is designed to find THC, the high-inducing part of marijuana

Canada aiming for the moon, and beyond, with new space technology efforts

With an eye on future lunar exploration, Canada’s space agency is calling on companies to present their ideas for everything from moon-rover power systems to innovative mineral prospecting techniques.

New Brunswick Premier meets with lieutenant-governor as Tories, Liberals vie for power

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said the only other leader he had spoken with since results came in was Green Leader David Coon.

Trudeau looks to restart Canada’s UN charm offensive in New York City

Freeland says the question of job retraining in the 21st century — and the uncertainty that surrounds it — is the federal government’s central preoccupation.

Most Read