The Annual Rotary Garden Tour Show and Sale

 

In 1997 when the club was searching for one more fundraising activity, members looked at what other clubs were doing. Some floated toy ducks down a river. Others held events like clam bakes, tulip festivals, dances, wine tastings. Ladysmith Rotary held a plant sale in the few years previous to 1997.

It was at the 1996 plant sale that the idea of a garden tour took shape. With the co-operation of some of the Saltair Garden Club members offering their gardens, the first self-guided garden tour was arranged. About one hundred attended that first tour. Local businesses advertised on the posters and guide brochure.

 

John, Cheryl and Nita discussing Chaperone Duties with Linda

 

Over the years following, a raffle, a garden show and sale, and a talk on gardening were added. The latest addition was a continental breakfast. Some years, local artists displayed their creations and talent at the gardens. The event has generally been blessed with good weather, and the numbers attending have reached almost as high as three hundred.

 

Aggie Hall Display

 

Judy and Dee Setting up the Rotary Breakfast

 

Gardens selected for the annual tour have been located from Chemainus to Cedar By the Sea. Locations have included waterfront acreages on Yellowpoint Road and spectacular ocean views on Panorama Ridge. The gardens themselves have featured raised garden beds, gazebos, topiary and many unique water features including ponds, streams fountains and waterfalls.

 

Brenda prepares to receive guests

 

 

Oceanside Garden 

 

Garden water feature

 

Local artist Keiko Bottomley in one of the gardens

 

Square Foot gardening

 

What began as a fundraiser has become much more. Our patrons return each year for a day-long social adventure with friends through spaces of crafted and natural beauty. In the Rotary Garden Tour, Show and Sale the club has given Ladysmith a quality annual event.

 

 
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