Friends of the Summerland Research Station Ornamental Gardens

The Friends of the Summerland Research Station Gardens Society’s was formed in 1991. Our mandate is to maintain, enhance and conserve the landscape features of the Gardens, and to provide a resource of horticultural, technical and research knowledge and gardening related skills to the community. The Summerland Ornamental Gardens were originally established in 1916 to demonstrate and educate the public on landscaping adapted for the Okanagan semi-arid region. Today the Gardens comprise the leading semi-arid botanical collection in Canada. They also contain the first and largest xeric landscaping project in Canada, initiated by PARC and the Friends to demonstrate conservation of the Okanagan’s limited water supplies. The Gardens are situated on a stunning site overlooking Okanagan Lake and attract over 20,000 visitors annually. Hence the site provides a rare opportunity for the engagement, demonstration and education of water conservation techniques and practices.

Volunteers - Friends of Summerland Ornamental GardensOur Impact Why We Exist

Preserve, protect and enhance the Gardens and increase public enjoyment.

Educate the public in  horticulture and effective water use, by demonstrating the range of plants species and water requirements possible in the Okanagan area.

Cooperate with other horticultural and environmental related agencies, organizations and businesses, to test new and unfamiliar ornamental plants to expand the range of horticulture material available in the Okanagan area.

Promote a broad community awareness and appreciation for the importance of ornamental horticulture, natural and man-made landscapes and heritage preservation in our communities while keeping the gardens enviromentally sustainable.

Conduct fund-raising to support these objectives.

Presentation on Design and Installation of our new Demonstration Rain GardenOur Story What We Do

Demonstration and enviromental education is a central part of our mandate. We work with all age groups, from schoolchildren to seniors, and rely heavily on our cadre of motivated volunteers.

Focus of our organization:

Conversion of high water demand flower borders to water wise plantings

Increase the footprint of our vegetable gardens and involve school children in vegetable growing and harvesting

Environmental Education demonstrations, presentations and workshops

Environmental protection                                                              

Cultural development and historical preservation

Maintenance  and beautification of an established public garden

Composting workshop with Cameron Baughen from RDOSOur Programs How We Do It

1.     Community based programs feature weekly educational seminars and public garden tours in the summer season.

2.     Okanagan Master Gardeners and Friends lead educational tours of plant collections, xeriscape and heritage gardens for community members, the general public and out of town visitors. The Summerland Gardens have one of the most comprehensive collections of botanical and drought tolerant plants and trees in the region.

4.     On the weekends our Visitors Information Kiosk is open – providing tourists with information on the significant heritage and cultural history of the Gardens (created in 1916)

5.     Weedy Wednesdays - our two paid gardeners lead work parties with volunteers every Wednesday  

6.     Annual Planting events with volunteers in take place in May and in the fall and also during specific project timeframes

Members and Volunteers  (photo credit D. Atwater)What You Can Do

Become a member of the Friends of the Summerland Research Station Gardens Society

Become a donor

Contribute your expertise and conduct a workshop at The Gardens

Join our volunteer teams - contact Eva Antonijevic at


Eva Antonijevic
Community Programs Director
Charitable Number: 890739089RR0001

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