Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Linden Gardens

Eight kilometers south of Penticton we discovered the beautiful Linden Gardens. I was inspired by the seamless landscaping, with a real vision towards integrating native plants with perennial cultivars.

I love the way these agastache plants compliment the currant bush behind them.

It is a dense, compact garden with contrasting and complimenting textures and hues. There is only one tiny part of the garden that is devoted to a lawn for wedding parties and other events. The site has a new tea room and dining hall which caters for these occasions. They make a very refreshing cup of homemade iced tea! Check their web site for the hours of the café, which is where you pay for the garden entrance fee.

I like a garden that is roomy enough to have mass plantings like this fireworks display of echinops. I pursued the largest bumblebee queen I've ever seen, over two inches long, but alas I didn't get a good photo of her majesty.

The garden in on a bench overlooking the lake shore and although we are nearly dipping into the dessert zone here, an intense irrigation system keeps the plants lush. We had to run through a few sprinklers on our walk through the garden paths.

The Oregon grapes were chalk full of berries.

The palette of the garden changes as you move through the space. This section was very painterly.

The edible berries attract a healthy bird population including these cute California quails.

The sumac berries are beginning to ripen.

There are a few ponds in the gardens as well, which are quite charming. I just read about a gardener named Roy Diblik who believes in getting to know which plants belong in communities, so that you can plant them in relationship to one another. It's an enlightened approach to companion planting. Linden Gardens is a living example of plants that have been chosen in this way and are flourishing because of it. I was inspired and uplifted by this Okanagan oasis. Hats off to its creators!

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