Thursday, April 28, 2016

Born to Wonder - Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Happy - Pharrell Williams - Summerland BC, Canada


e Beginnings of the Gardens

The history of the Summerland Gardens goes back almost a hundred years. In 1916, when Agriculture Canada laid out the ornamental gardens around its two-year-old experimental laboratory just south of Summerland, the Kettle Valley Railway link to the coast had just been completed. Roads, at best, were rough tracks. Immigrants were coming to the Okanagan by rail and lake sternwheeler ship. Irrigation systems were being built because any agriculture more intensive than ranching had to have water.
The governments of the day decided that some English/Eastern Canadian culture was needed to smooth the rough edges on the frontier – trees to line the streets of the new towns, public parks with beautiful flowers and shrubs, and gardening information for the new homeowners. The Research Station was the place to look into all this, and so it did. The staff laid out a garden demonstration area, planted trees and shrubs and flowers. Some did well, some did not. Over time, the area developed into an English style garden covering about 15 acres (6 hectares), and became very popular with locals and tourists.

More Recently

Agriculture Canada research directions have changed. In Summerland, the station increased its concentration on tree fruits and food processing; the ornamental horticulture program was reduced and finally in the ‘80s phased out. The gardens languished under minimal maintenance. In 1991, a local group of citizens formed the Friends of the Research Station Gardens Society (FOG). They formed a partnership with Agriculture Canada to maintain the gardens and to raise funds to develop them into a showpiece of gardening possibilities and options in the Okanagan Valley for both local residents and visitors from elsewhere. Once again, the original purpose of the gardens when they were started in 1916 was restored.
Thanks to generous donors and hard work from society members and our garden crew, much has been accomplished and the gardens continue to be a spectacular showcase in the Okanagan.

20th Anniversary Milestone

In 2011, the Friends of Summerland Ornamental Gardens celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a Commemorative Tea Party in honour of the bygone days when Sunday picnics on the lawn were popular family outings.
2011 Celebration of the FOG 20th anniversary


Summerland is a great place to garden.  The weather is great,  and we have a long growing season, that allows for a wide variety of Plants.  The only problem with this area is that it is semi-arid.  We do not get a lot of rain, so our gardening relies on some form of irrigation.
Besides the home gardener, this area is known for its fruit growing and also its vineyards..  We have a good watershed for our irrigation, but, now that we are experiencing Global Warming,  we need to take more care of our water resources.  Our snow-pack in the hills, is not what it once was...
We have plenty of places to buy plants and people take advantage of that and the landscaping is really fantastic!

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016


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Celebrating Life: Memories Build a Special Bridge

By Emily Matthews
Our memories build a special bridge when loved ones have to part  
To help us feel we’re with them still and sooth a grieving heart.  
Our memories span the years we shared, preserving ties that bind; they build a special bridge of love and bring us peace of mind.  
Thinking about you and wishing you courage to help see you through, day by day.  
And hoping your memories will warm your heart always and bring so much comfort your way.
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God gave to us this planet
To live on and enjoy
For coming generations
Let us not destroy
Our planet Earth
is beautiful, so beautiful to me
Lakes and streams and oceans
And tall tall timber trees
Squirrels and birds, all animals
With stars so bright above
Sun and moon and people
That you really really love
 Look on towards the future
And keep within your heart
A clean and peaceful planet
And the freedom to take part

Posted in the Penticton Western Advertiser by Sally Gibson 


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I can't stop grieving just because you believe it is time for me to move on.

I can't stop hurting just because you do not understand the piercing pain in my heart.

I cannot stop my tears from flowing just because they make you uncomfortable.

My heart is not suddenly mended just because you believe that I have grieved long enough.

I will grieve the loss of  my loved one for the rest of my life...


                                             -----John Pete----

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016



This is the south campground....The north campground is not open as yet.  There is an upper trail and a old road, down by the lake that joins the two campgrounds!
Lots of nice picnic sights and a boat launch area, with picnic tables, as well!

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