Rotary Garden Tour showcases nine gardens

Ladysmith area gardeners will welcome visitors during self-guided tour May 27.

Peggy McDonald is excited to share her Yellow Point garden with people during the Rotary Garden Tour May 27.

Peggy McDonald is excited to share her Yellow Point garden with people during the Rotary Garden Tour May 27.

On a quiet road in Yellow Point, Peggy McDonald loves to try new things and see which plants will work in her garden.

McDonald’s 5.25-acre property will be one of nine stops on the Ladysmith Rotary Garden Tour May 27, and she is excited to share her colourful garden with other people.

McDonald and her husband moved to Yellow Point from Calgary 15 years ago when they retired to Vancouver Island.

Their large waterfront property features a fish pond, a pond with a waterfall and a bridge, a vegetable garden and fruit trees.

McDonald has filled her garden with shrubs, azaleas, daffodils, pulmonarias, peonies, shasta daisies, rhubarb, hellebores, yakkas and much more.

“I do my best to have an assortment of colours at all seasons if I can,” she said.

Rhododendruns are among McDonald’s favourite plants.

“You grow the things that do well, so rhodos and pieris,” she said. “I love all the bulbs that come up, and they sometimes surprise you here and there around the yard.”

McDonald is trying to grow woodland plants in a treed area in her yard, including vanilla leaf, bleeding heart and Soloman’s seal.

“I’m trying different things to see what will grow there,” she said. “I just try to plant my favourites and hope for the best.”

McDonald has always gardened, but it wasn’t until she moved to Yellow Point that she was able to really concentrate on gardening.

“There wasn’t much gardening in Calgary; the season is very short,” she said. “Here, it’s a totally different climate zone, so I really got into it as one of the things I wanted to get into for a long time.”

McDonald works an average of four to five hours a day in her garden.

“It’s the challenge of growing things and seeing things start to take off and come into their own,” she said. “When you see things sprout and start to grow, and you worried over them for a few years, that’s a great reward. I love seeing things pop up around the yard and thinking ‘I didn’t put that there; it was meant to be there.’”

McDonald is excited to have people come into her garden during the Garden Tour.

“I love to share my garden,” she said. “I love the challenge to have things more or less ready all at once. It’s nice to have people walking around. We’ll share ideas; they’ll probably have lots of suggestions, and I’m looking forward to that.”

McDonald’s garden will be featured during Ladysmith Rotary’s 15th annual Garden Tour, Show and Sale Sun., May 27.

A deluxe continental breakfast will be available at Aggie Hall starting at 9 a.m.

Inside Aggie Hall, the Show and Sale will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Local, garden-related businesses will be on hand, and a video presentation on Square Foot Gardening will run continuously.

The self-guided Garden Tour will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets for the tour, available at Aggie Hall, are $15, which includes a garden pass, a program and a map. This year, there will be a chance to watch an artist at work during the tour, as a local artist will be at each garden.

Don’t forget to buy your Garden Tour Raffle tickets for a chance to win a patio heater, two cedar lawn chairs or a camping barbecue with side grill. Tickets are available now from Rotary members, and any remaining tickets will be sold the day of the tour.

All proceeds from tour ticket sales, the raffle and the breakfast support Rotary’s many worthy projects.

Call Ed Nicholson at 250-924-3402 or Andy Bohay at 250-245-3732 for more information.