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Delight in garden offerings

Annual Garden Tour shares colourful surprises with everyone

A Dawn Redwood is a critically endangered tree in the wild, but it stands tall in Gail Christopher's garden. The tree is just one of many surprises waiting to be discovered on the Squamish Gardener's 2009 Annual Garden Tour, Sunday June 14 from 9 a.m. to

Christopher said she is regularly surprised by her garden, which features unusual favourites such as the Ponderosa Pine, apple trees with multiple species and Rhododendrons.

"We just bought this place in October and discovered the most incredible trees on our property. We keep looking at it and thinking we should share this with people, which is why we signed up for the Garden Tour," Christopher said. "We have some of the most unusual trees that people have not seen around here before."

The garden is rustic, but Christopher said whoever planted the trees in the 1970s must have had an eye for design.

"It's amazing how the different plants blend together when they flower. I don't know how you would plant it, but we love it," she said.

Ten gardens are featured in this year's tour, all of which hold unusual and interesting elements. Carol Robson, Squamish Gardeners president, said people can explore the various gardens at their own pace while following a map on the ticket.

Explorers are also encouraged to stop at Quest University for a coffee or treat while exploring the local flora.

"The gardens have a number of features from Asian influences to one with a Model T car incorporated into it," Robson said. "The gardens are pieces of art."

Along with naturally growing plants and trees, the tour also includes displays from local artists. Linda Bachman of the Squamish Valley Artists Society (VISUALS) said their involvement into the tour evolved from a casual conversation.

"We thought the partnership would work well at the indoor Quest University coffee stop. Chef Gregg Van Harden welcomed the idea to bring some colour to his walls in the cafeteria," Bachman said.

Over 15 artists are participating in the tour with five to six pieces each, many of which were created specially for the tour.

"It's another opportunity to showcase local artists," Bachman said.

Robson said all money raised from the tour will go to the Squamish Gardeners with money from a raffle going to Friends of the Library. The raffle is slated to take place at 4:30 p.m. at Quest University with plenty of prizes.

The garden tour is just one of many activities for the Squamish Gardeners, a group dedicated to growing. Robson said the meetings are a chance to get together with like-minded people and exchange tips and of course plants.

"We have speakers at some of our meetings and there is always so much to learn. We are also so thankful for all of the volunteers that make the garden tour happen. Last year we had at least 125 visitors," Robson said.

Tickets for the garden tour are on sale next week for $15 at the Adventure Centre, Billie's Bouquet, Anna's Attic and the Garden Centre. For tickets on the day of the tour, visit the Adventure Centre.

For more information on the Squamish Gardner's visit

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