Our dreary wet weather this summer hasn’t hampered many local gardens as garden tour participants discovered last weekend. These gorgeous lillies were found in the gardens of the Drysdales.

Rossland Garden Tour under sunny skies

Close to 60 take in horticultural tour

The sun broke through on Saturday just in time for the 2011 Rossland Garden Tour. Fifty-five floraphiles spent the early afternoon strolling amongst the greenery of ten unique Rossland properties. People came from throughout the region to learn tips and techniques from seasoned horticulture experts.

A variety of garden styles were showcased, allowing tour-goers to discover tips and secrets for all manner of property sizes. Several gardens incorporated places for entertaining and relaxation, others used impressive rock work, while some just dazzled with their sheer size and scope.

Elizabeth and Frank Fowler put hours each day into their extensive Happy Valley property. They’ve struck a balance by taking responsibility for their own corners of the yard; Elizabeth tends the flowers while Frank minds the edibles.

Those with conservation in mind were treated to some xeroscaping ideas by Sharon and Charlie Wieder. The couple are using native plants that require little maintenance and, ideally, waterless gardening.

The O’Hearn property in upper Rossland showcased a mix of floral landscaping, vegetable garden, thriving wheel house, and a bear-proof chicken coop. Darcee O’Hearn offered several samples of leafy greens, as well as morsels from her cilantro and garlic plants.

Rossland’s heritage thrives on the Doell property, where several elements from the original Chinese gardens are lovingly maintained. Several century-old fruit trees dot the perimeter, while rhubarb plants, brought to Canada by migrant Chinese workers, abound.

Organizer Jackie Drysdale was pleased with the weather, and the positive response from tourists and hosts alike. “Gardens like these take a lot of time and effort,” she says, “The hosts really appreciate having people come by and see what they’ve created.” Drysdale hosted a mid-morning refreshment stop for tour-goers on her vast, beautifully-kept lawn, as well as an end-of-day reception for the hosts.

Despite this year’s late bloom, the event appeared to be a success. The Garden Tour was organized by Friends of the Museum, and all funds raised went to the Rossland Museum. For those that just can’t get enough greenery, Rossland Real Food is hosting an Edible Garden Tour this coming Saturday, July 30th.