Did you get a chance to go on the North Peace Horticultural Society Garden Tour on Sunday? I did and it was fantastic!
Every year, garden owners open their green spaces to the public during the North Peace Horticultural Society’s Fort St John Garden Tour. For $10 you get a map and self-drive to the marked locations to experience 100’s of different flowers, trees, and shrubs. There were 9 gardens to explore this year.
The gardens ranged from mature (10 years or older) and young gardens that were started within the last couple of years. There were rock gardens, artistic gardens (with art all around), greenhouses, root cellars, water gardens (ponds), oriental gardens, dry stream beds, shade beds, sunny beds, and island bed gardens.
It was a great way to spend a morning and learn about all the different varieties of plants that can grow in the North Peace. Did you know you can grow wine grapes!? How about hops? I even saw a kiwi tree!
I was told we live in a 2-3 zone and if you purchase a plant that is over a zone 3 you may be taking a chance that it won’t survive our climate. So, purchase 1-3 zone plants and you should have a wonderful, healthy garden. I wasn’t sure what these zones meant and what kind of plants were even in these zones.
So, I found a website that displayed all of the zones in British Columbia and across Canada! You do need to keep in mind that zones do not incorporate summer heat units into the hardiness calculation. They also don’t take into account the daylight hours…which we all know we get a lot of during the summer months up here in the North Peace.
So, even though plants like watermelon are zoned 3-11 in hardiness they are doing fantastic in my garden bed, as they are in direct sunlight for almost 14 hours a day (read my pervious post on 24 Hours of Light – Need to sleep which talks about the dayling hours in the North Peace)…saying this I had to start the plants indoors (a greenhouse would have been even better) as the shorter summer season doesn’t allow them to mature from seed in the ground. Unfortunately, they have a long growing season.
When it comes to buying plants make sure the nursery has the zones labeled on the tags or ask them to make sure. Also, ask them what they recommend and what they know does well in your local area. You don’t want to purchase a new plant only to have it die in the first season. Now that I have the knowledge I can purchase the right plants for my garden and know that they will survive the winter.
I got so many great ideas and tips to make my own garden a success. Now I want some fruit trees, a pond, and a greenhouse…the list goes on. Though, I think we need to begin with a green house. Then we can start our plants earlier in the season and have more vegetables and fruit!
Maybe one day I can show off my own garden on the tour. I have a few more projects to complete before then.