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Gardening-with-nature

Another successful Seedy Sunday event

Seed fair for gardeners

Hundreds of gardeners and the curious streamed through the doors of Parkinson Recreation Centre this past Sunday for yet another successful master gardener-sponsored Seedy Sunday.

I have had the pleasure of volunteering at the event for the last nine years and the magic never seems to dull.

Historically, Seedy Sunday is the unofficial kick off of the garden season as everyone gets together for the first time since the hiatus for winter and the mood is joyous. Basically, it’s a coming together of plant geeks who are just a bit winter stir-crazy and can’t wait to get their hands in the dirt and start growing things.

The enthusiasm is palpable as gardeners share seeds, plants and tubers, and perhaps more importantly, stories of successes and failures.

There were tables offering gardening advice and seed swaps as well as seeds by donation and for purchase

At the Okanagan Xeriscape Association (OXA) booth we had a wide variety of both perennial and annual seeds which had been harvested from our two demonstration gardens. They were available by donation.

I was fascinated to speak with one of the new vendors who specializes in carnivorous plants, something I knew little about.

Throughout the day there were presentations by experts on vegetable and container gardening and on the benefits of biochar to improve soil health.

Never disappointing is the children’s activity area where children and the young at heart could pot up plants to take away and delight in cuddling adorable day-old chicks. I had one fall soundly asleep in the warmth of my hands and it could have stayed there all day.

The OXA booth was extremely busy with volunteers fielding questions about xeriscape, a concept in which interest has ballooned following recent unprecedented fire seasons, heat domes, and drought.

The volunteers signed up a large number of new OXA members, in part because of the benefits from a newly-formed relationship between OXA and SiteOne Landscape Supply. SiteOne is now offering OXA members 10% off their contractor pricing at sites across the Okanagan and Canada. This is huge. Other benefits of membership include:

• Discounts at most Okanagan nurseries (list on website)

• Early admission to OXA plant sales

• Free admission to members-only OXA events

• A 10 per cent discount on OXA classes, workshops and seminars

• Members-only tours of facilities of interest

• Access to the member area page on the OXA website

• Membership in Mediterranean Gardening International (mediterraneangardeninginternational.org)

• Notifications about gardening news and events

• Opportunities to learn from xeriscape garden experts while volunteering

So, what are you waiting for? If you are doing any sort of gardening at all, the member benefits will easily pay for the price of the membership and if you are planning on a project, an OXA membership could save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

To purchase your 2024 OXA membership, go to okanaganxeriscape.org and click on the yellow box labelled Join OXA.

OXA has moved to digital membership cards, but you may print the digital card when you receive it by email, or just show it on your phone at nurseries and events. Membership fees for OXA will increase on March 15, 2024 after remaining unchanged since the organization was founded in 2009. Until March 15, the cost is $25 for individuals, $40 for families and $20 for students. As of March 15, those costs will rise to $35 for individuals and $55 for families, with the cost for students remaining unchanged.

We’ve set May 11th as the date for our annual OXA Spring Plant Sale to be held at Wild Bloom Nursery located at 840 Old Vernon Rd. Stay tuned for more information on the wide variety of xeric plants which will be available for purchase at the sale, many of which I will be featuring in upcoming columns and on our social media accounts.

The Okanagan Xeriscape Association is grateful for the ongoing financial support of the Okanagan Basin Water Board and is proud to be collaborating with them on their Make Water Work campaign.

Sigrie Kendrick is a master gardener and executive-director of the Okanagan Xeriscape Association and can be reached by email at [email protected].

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



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About the Author

I inherited my passion for gardening from my Australian grandfather, a renowned rose breeder in New South Wales. My interest in water conservation started early after a childhood spent growing up in the desert of Saudi Arabia, when a day of rain was cause for a national holiday.

After meeting Gwen Steele, co-founder of the OXA through the master gardener program, I became passionate about promoting xeriscape. I joined the OXA board as a director in 2015 and became executive director in 2019.

When not promoting the principles of xeriscape and gardening for clients throughout the valley, I can be found on a rural property outside of Kelowna where I harvest thousands of litres of rainwater with which to water my own xeriscape gardens.

Connect with me at [email protected].

Visit the website at: www.okanaganxeriscape.org

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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