By Don Burnett
Our journey to Australia’s Sunshine Coast has come to an end and I guarantee it won’t be our last if I can help it.
Our hosts Steve and Sue Gee have been so gracious and accommodating taking us on a road trip almost every day. I now have a much better understanding of this part of the world, however what we have seen in these three short weeks is just a minute portion of this vast land.
Of course, the most exciting thing for me while on this vacation was discovering all the wonderful plants growing here. As I did in England last year I have taken thousands of photos and movies so stay tuned for a presentation at some point in the spring.
It doesn’t seem like it while in Australia because it feels like summer but Christmas is just around the corner so I have to mention a couple of my favourite Christmas traditions here in the Okanagan.
First of all was Santa’s arrival by helicopter at Bylands Garden Centre yesterday, always a very exciting event for both adults and children.
Second is Ted Corbett and his Woodhaven Farms located on 1705 Swainson Road in Rutland where you can choose from at least six different varieties including Douglas fir, Nordman fir, Grand fir, Noble fir, Fraser fir and my absolute favourite the White fir. Ted has been treating folk to a warm bonfire, a cup of steaming hot chocolate and personalized service picking out your tree to be cut wrapped and loaded for several years and this has become a family tradition for many. One of the things Ted will do for you at no extra charge is shake all the loose needles out of the tree before it gets wrapped. He does this with a special machine that I have not seen anywhere else in the valley and its actually fun to watch. For more information such as hours of operation go to his website Woodhaventreefarms.com or call 250-826-8733.
It’s time to book your seat on the bus to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. This is the 14th time we have hosted this trip to the second largest flower and Garden show in North America and it never gets old. The bus trip is always pleasant arriving in Seattle just in time for “Happy Hour” at the hotel within a short distance from the famous Space Needle and the World famous Chihuly Glass Gardens.
In the morning we all board our bus and head to the show which has so much to see including huge landscape displays and so much in the way of forced flowering plants which really gets us in the mood for spring gardening. The show is all indoors so weather is never an issue. Most years it has been nice enough to stray away from the show and visit Pikes Market and other popular Seattle spots. To book your place on this 4-day trip call Sun Fun Tours (250) 763-6133.
Listen to Don Burnett and Ken Salvail every Saturday Morning from 8am to 10am presenting the Garden Show on AM 1150 now in its 34th year.
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