Flower Power Gardens 2017

You are welcome to tour the gardens in any order you wish.  Enjoy the tour! The descriptions below are the gardener’s own words about their properties and their enjoyment of gardening.

 1.  Shirley Hathway
3068 Ourtoland Road, West Kelowna
A Gardener’s Garden

Shirley has been filling this West Kelowna garden with “flower power” since she retired twenty-one years ago.

As you cross the front yard, pause to appreciate the variety of flowers, including a reblooming lilac and the feature tree of the property, a gingko biloba. This 50 foot tree may be the largest and oldest in West Kelowna. This species dates from pre-historic times; it is resistant to disease and pollution and turns a brilliant yellow in fall.

Continue along the side of the house and you will enter a park-like atmosphere. Look at the variety of trees- including a Japanese snowbell, a maple grown from a seedling, a flowering dogwood, a young peach tree and a white hawthorn. This selection of trees provides the garden with a variety of colour from spring through fall. At the mid-level, smaller trees and shrubs include Japanese lace leaf maple, A February daphne, star magnolia, barberry, lilacs, Susan magnolia, tree peonies, hydrangeas, rhododendrons, Rose of Sharon and many roses. Closer to the ground, you’ll see lots of perennials, a small vegetable garden and a strawberry patch. Annuals add to the colour, providing continuous blooms throughout the growing season.

For a different perspective, go up the stairs to the deck as it welcomes you with potted annuals and a small water feature. Take in the spectacular view of Lake Okanagan and Little White Mountain with the garden in the foreground.

There are more surprises as you go through the carport and step into the kitchen garden with an herb garden, clematis, a small pond, miniature evergreens, and more flowers.

Finally, as you exit the property there is a New Dawn rose rambling over the fence and past the fence a few shrubs- including a unique beauty berry bush bearing translucent lavender berries in fall.

Throughout your tour, look for some of the floral watercolours Shirley has painted from the blooms that grace her garden.

2.  The Cove Lakeside Resort – Bonfire Culinary Garden
4205 Gellatly Road, West Kelowna


3.  Marilynne and Robert Fine
421 Birch Avenue (off Pandosy Street)

The Fines were lucky to find 421 Birch Avenue 5 years ago when they were ready to leave the upper mission after 14 years. This house was 6 years old at the time so quite new in a very established hospital area neighborhood. Because it is a corner lot different areas were established with patio and perimeter gardens on one side of the property and grass and perimeter gardens on the other.

One of the things that really caught them was the privacy of the “city lot”. The landscaping was very well planned and well planted with lots of perennials for colour so relatively low maintenance.

The Fine’s have used Yard by Yard for 18 years for their lawn care. This is a program run through Okanagan Mental Health Services Society. Four years ago, Jenn Lahey started working with them. A year ago, the Fine garden caught her eye. She saw many of the plants had outgrown their spaces after 11 years and had many ideas for changes. You will be able to see the fruits of her labour – please enjoy their garden– and many thanks to Jenn and the whole crew! Rob Schamerhorn who owns CJR Irrigation has done many changes to improve the watering of the property

A year ago, the Fines were at a Rotary Auction and purchased a “Little Free Library” which has been installed on the front yard – take a book – donate a book. Please feel free to bring any garden books or any other book you are finished with and pick up another one.

4.  Jan and Dave Sutherland
1767 Mid Ridge Court

This garden, designed and built upon a rocky lot by homeowners, Jan and Dave, has been a labour of creative expression for 15 years. The garden has continually evolved to become an inviting haven with comfortable spaces and interesting features, well maintained but without feeling manicured. The rock that is used extensively throughout is all native to the lot as much of this neighbourhood in Crawford Estates sits on glacial till. In the beginning, not a worm could be found on the lot. Many wheelbarrows of soil and mulch later, there is a healthy number of them!

Dave takes on the tasks of rock walls, paths, building and lawn maintenance. Jan focuses on plant selections, plant maintenance, pruning and the vegetable and compost areas. Of course, both weed! Both enjoy the designing part of the garden and often much thought goes into how this line of path or this shrub placement effects the overall flow and feel of the space. It is important to both that the space is natural and relaxing yet interesting. The gentle terraces and paths meander throughout from one space to the next. Many plants and specimens have come and gone. Nowadays, with less patience for coddling or coaxing, Jan has chosen many Okanagan hardy and drought resistant varieties, with a return to some tried and true varieties. She has hollyhocks grown from seeds from her grandmother’s Ontario garden and has replaced fancier roses with ones that look a bit wilder and more natural. She believes that the best plants are the ones that reliably come back year after year, behave well, require little attention and give a good show. This includes daisies, lilies, heuchera, sedum, Rudbeckia and allium and shrubs like spirea, ninebark and elderberry.

Urban deer have been a challenge but the birds and other wildlife are a source of pleasure. Some of the lot has been left purposefully “wild and quail friendly”. With increased shade, vegetable growing is becoming more of a challenge but lettuces, chard, beets, kale, garlic and beets all still find a place to grow. In addition, the family enjoys their own raspberries, Saskatoon berries, plums, strawberries and rhubarb. Dave’s building resourcefulness is evident in some interesting pieces in the yard, from a funky shed to arbours and sitting areas. Added into these elements is the odd antique or “found” piece. Grandkids even have a spot for their fairy garden!

5.  Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm
4380 Takla Road

Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm is a vertically integrated farm located in South Kelowna. Herbs are grown, processed and distilled on-site and the botanical components are used to create the proprietary products sold in the gift shop.

In 2017, the farm was selected as the Canadian Garden Destination of the Year; a well-designed and functional landscape design incorporates useful herbs, shrubs and trees bordered with xeriscape plantings.

11:30 and 1:30 learn how to use your garden material to create beautiful floral arrangements with Lillian.

12:30 join Andrea for a garden talk on the importance of biodiversity in the garden.

2:30 Hannah will talk about permaculture which emphasizes the use of renewable natural resources and the enrichment of local ecosystems.

Need a snack? Enjoy delicious lavender gelato and farm made Italian sodas at our outdoor picnic area.

Or something heartier? The ever-popular CrAsian Food Truck will be serving up their tasty fare from 10:30 – 2:30

6.  Ancient Hill Estate Winery, Jitske and Richard Kamphuys
4918 Anderson Road

Ancient Hill sits on a 50-acre piece of prime land that is perfectly suited for grapes, fruit trees, roses and lavender.

!5 acres are dedicated to growing grapes. The gently sloped vineyard grows winter-hardy grapes: Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Lemberger, Zweigelt, Pinot Noir, and their signature red, Baco Noir.

Baco Noir {we are one of only two wineries in the Okanagan that grows this big, bold, beautiful varietal}. Outside of our winery, we offer a welcoming, large patio to enjoy a picnic and some wine.

Surrounding this are our flower gardens. This happy labour of love, began in 2011, and continues to grow in colour fragrance and variety.

Our guests are often commenting on our delightfully fragrant  selection of roses, lavender, and even the sweet smell of curry plant, cedar, and blossoms. It always inspires me to paint the flowers. We don’t use herbicide or pesticide on our grapes or the flower garden.

The deer don’t eat our plants, because by accident I planted a lot of lavender, they don’t like the smell.

With garden sculptures strategically placed, pergolas and awnings, our garden is the perfect place to watch humming birds, honey bees, and planes coming and going off in the distance.

If you have been to Ancient hill before, welcome back! If this is your first time here, we hope to see you again. Please enjoy our gardens, lovingly planted and tended by Jitske and the staff, Ingrid and Kirsten, of this unique spot that is a little off the beaten path, but definitely worth the scenic drive of rolling hills, lush farmland and sweeping valley views.

7.  Bonnie and Chef Bernard Casavant
78-6400 Spencer Road

My husband and I bought our property in 2013, we live on a quiet hill overlooking the valley and the airport.  We have a Regional Park on two sides and a Ranch on the other – no neighbours, just us the deer and coyotes!

We have made many improvements to the gardens, added a greenhouse, taken out a few trees and greatly increased the size of the vegetable growing areas.  I have 15 raised beds (12′ x 4′) and 2 smaller ones.  We have two rain barrels and most of the gardens are Xeriscape, needing little water.

In addition to operating a busy landscape company, I grow produce, microgreens, pea shoots, and sunflower shoots exclusively for Raudz and Micro Bar.  I supply them with specialty items like Mouse Melons, 5 kinds of white and yellow baby cucumbers, garlic scapes, asparagus peas, baby squash, herbs, and culinary flowers.  This year I have 17 varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes!

I have adopted the farming technique of Paul Kaiser from Singing Frog Farms in California.  He is nicknamed the “Drought Fighter”, if you google him, it’s a very interesting read.  His method of farming hit home with me, it makes sense and it’s everything I believe in.  I only use compost as a fertilizer, grow everything from seed, and although I’m not certified I grow everything organically.  I have 5 compost bins, Raudz supplies me with vegetable trimmings for the compost (kind of full circle!).  I combine flowers and shrubs in the vegetable gardens which attract pollinators and looks great too!

I’ve been experimenting with companion gardening, last year I did the “Three Sisters” program.  Corn, pole beans and squash.  The corn acts as a pole and holds the beans up, the beans add nitrogen to the soil that the corn needs and the squash provides ground cover to retain moisture in the soil.  It worked amazingly – the corn and beans grew about 15 feet!  You can check out the picture on my website everythinggreenokanagan.com