For most of the past 30 years, the Friends of Summerland Ornamental Gardens have spent the last week of April preparing a greenhouse full of plants for their spring sale, their primary annual fundraiser. Not so in 2020.
Just at the time when gardeners would have been seeding their famous tomatoes and peppers, the ornamental gardens were closed in an effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
What to do with the plants that were already growing? They are being reared in houses, yards and orchards of the directors.
Since the plants haven’t enjoyed the heat and light of the greenhouse, they are smaller than in previous years but hardened to the strong winds and cold nights of early spring.
And like many other groups, Friends of Summerland Ornamental Gardens will place them for sale online.
“We won’t make nearly as much as we have in the past,” said Friends of Summerland board chair Bonnie Fulton, “but every little bit helps.”
She noted a surprise donation from the Summerland and District Credit Union’s Comfort for a Cause program.
Staff there presented the organization with a cheque for $1,000 raised through their weekly contributions. With no donations coming in through the garden gates, the support has a significant impact.
Gardeners can add to that impact by purchasing the bedding plants rescued before the gardens closure.
The plant list will be posted on the Friends of Summerland Ornamental Gardens website, www.summerlandgardens.org, on May 4, along with an email address, methods of payment, and directions on where to pick up the plants.
Every plant purchased will help to get the gardens growing again as soon as the gates reopen.
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