A Gardener’s Diary: Local gardens go on display

The annual People Place garden tour is a peek into local gardens and a much-needed fundraiser for the non-profit group

I remember long ago wishing for June to get here so school would end, then wishing for Fridays so the work week would be over and now wishing for time to stand still, as it is going way too fast.

For the first time, however, I managed to get all the tomato plants in the ground before the first day of June. But just as I finish the planting, now the harvesting is on. Mother Nature shredded my lettuce and shortened a couple of my plants last week with the hail, but the damage was not too bad. I moved some of my trays into the greenhouse and they were fine. It didn’t last very long and the rain after that was most welcome.

As I was looking where I can transplant my bleeding heart, I found this useful note: To find the right spot for a bleeding heart, it helps to speak the language. Growers use four levels to describe a plant’s shade needs: light, partial, full and deep shade. Most bleeding hearts thrive in partial shade to full shade. Partial shade means less than five hours of direct sun each day. Full shade areas receive less than one hour of direct sun. Both can welcome filtered sunlight throughout the day. Latitude and time of day matter, too. In warm or southern climates, direct-sun hours should be in morning or late afternoon. Protect bleeding hearts from the sun’s intense, early-afternoon rays. This is good advice for many plants in the hot Okanagan.

This is the time of the year for garden tours and People Place is celebrating their 14th annual garden tour. It is a self-guided tour and folks may tour the gardens in any order they wish. The cost is the same as previous years: $15 per ticket, with all proceeds supporting the agencies housed in People Place. This event is taking place June 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This is an opportunity for all gardeners and would-be gardeners to see what local property owners have created in their yards. When you support this fundraiser, you will benefit the 17 social service agencies housed in People Place. As well, you will have an opportunity to enter to win a beautiful quilt or runner created and donated by Buffie Moir, one of the People Place volunteers. The tickets are available at Briteland, Swan Lake Nurseryland, Blue Mountain Nursery in Armstrong and the People Place. For more information, call People Place at 250-558-6585

Some gardeners think that their gardens are not good enough to be on a tour but you don’t have to be the Butchart Gardens. If you would like to be on it or you think your neighbour’s garden is worthy of it, just give a phone call to the above number and talk to Elaine. Sometimes, those little oases are hidden from the street and you never know they exist. I have been on some of these tours and you meet so many nice people.

This year I will take the tour and from the description of some of these gardens, I can assure you that you will enjoy every one of them. You might even be able to purchase a fig tree along the way.

Go get your ticket, mark your calendar and I hope to see you there.

For more information: 250-558-4556 plantlady1@shaw.ca

Jocelyne Sewell is an organic gardening enthusiast in the North Okanagan and a member of the Okanagan Gardens & Roses Club. Her column appears every other Wednesday.