Temperatures topped out in the mid 30 degree range Saturday but that didn’t stop close to 200 gardening enthusiasts from taking part in the Williams Lake Garden and Arts Tour. There were nine gardens on the tour where onlookers could appreciate the fruits of labour by local green thumbs.
“We had 200 tickets printed and I think we sold all of them. We were very satisfied with the turnout, especially since it was very, very hot Saturday,” said organizer Gerry Gebert.
This is third time the event has been held with the first in 2011, then again in 2012 before returning this year after a 2013 absence. Gebert helped start the garden tour back in 2011 after recently moving to Williams Lake from Kelowna.
“When I lived in Kelowna I loved going on the garden tours so I thought it would be a great idea to host one in Williams Lake.”
The tour gives gardening aficionados the opportunity to share insights and ideas and simply enjoy the love of gardening.
“The garden tour is all about people getting together to share their ideas and knowledge and people always enjoy seeing beautiful gardens,” said Gebert.
This edition of the tour was the biggest so far and each of the nine garden venues had either an art or music exhibit on site. “Every venue we had some type of exhibit; this year we had spinners, weavers, quilters, potters, quilters, as well as musicians playing the guitar, flute and Chinese harp,” said Gebert.
“This was the largest tour and it gets better each time.”
Eight of the gardens were local with one located out of town, Lynette Patenaude’s property at 153 Mile. Other venues included the Seniors Village and residences of Christa Obergfell, Kim Herdman and Michael Rawluk, Leah Selk and Michael Kjelsrud, Lilliana Dragowska, Tina and John Stace-Smith, Ming and Ester Wong and Joyce Scarff.
“All the venues were very well attended and a number of people took the time to travel to the Patenaude’s at 153 Mile which was really nice to see,” added Gebert.
For many of the hosts, gardening plays a huge role in their daily lives and they commit countless hours to their yards. Kim Herdman and Michael Rawluk bought their home on 332 Third Ave. back in 2012 and featured a number of before and after pictures showing how they completely revamped the entire property. The couple has to use cranes and other machinery to clear out old lilacs bushes and trees from their yard and started basically from scratch.
“Every load of rocks or soil here we had to load up in the back of our Toyota Corolla and I can’t tell you how many trips we’ve made,” said Herdman.
Herdman gets many of her plants from friend Barb Scharf at Hill Farm Nursery and notes that all gardeners have their own specific tastes.
“Roses are my personal favourite but often it depends on whatever plants are currently in bloom; some plants that are very difficult to grow don’t stand out too much but as a gardener you appreciate the work that goes into them,” said Herdman.
“We have to put a lot of time into our yard every day and the key thing is to keep everything watered.”
All the proceeds from the event are going towards the Hough Memorial Fund and the Local Hospice Society.