Garden tour Saturday

Gardens without Borders and Innisfree Farm host an open house Saturday in Royston.

Gardens without Borders and Innisfree Farm invite to you to an open house this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 3636 Trent Rd. in Royston.

Enjoy an iced herbal tea while wandering through seven acres of vegetable, herb and flower gardens, an orchard, a pond and a woodland walk.

Walk the labyrinth. Visit with the chickens. Learn about horticulture therapy or take in a guided medicinal plant walk.

Guided walks include the herbs gardens at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., vegetable gardens at noon and 2 p.m., and Horticulture Therapy activities at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Innisfree Farm is located near the Trent River gorge in Royston. It is a destination farm with a summer season farm stand offering a variety of produce — vegetables, fruit, nuts, flowers, eggs and herbal teas, as well as pickles and other farm products.

Innisfree Farm is host to Gardens without Borders, a non-profit organization dedicated to Horticulture Therapy (HT) and providing healing environments through plants and gardening. Gardens without Borders offers a Horticulture Therapy day program to people who have disabilities or barriers in society.

This summer, Gardens without Borders is excited to offer a four-day kids’ camp for the first time.

Horticulture Therapy is a process of harnessing the healing powers of plants in creative ways for individuals in their times of need through improved physical activity, better socialization skills, learning of practical and potentially marketable gardening skills, cognitive and sensory stimulation and sheer pleasure. HT is a healing process that provides physical activity and that creates improved mood and less irritability, loneliness, depression and hopelessness

The program has a strong emphasis on growing food and providing for the lunch that is offered each day. Daily activities will be individualized, and reporting will be conducted as required by referring agencies. HT programs can be tailored to the needs of the individuals or groups participating.

“Using a generic format with the hopes of applying it to everyone interested in doing a HT program does not recognize the diversity the participants bring,” says Lisa Hamilton, certified Horticultural Therapist who delivers the programs. “I like to meet with the person or people first, discover what it is they need and what they want to do and design a program around them. It is very client-centred. A person in recovery from addiction looking to use Horticultural Therapy as one part of their healing process may have different needs than a group of adults with developmental disabilities who might be looking to enhance their life skills.”

Gardens without Borders has a bursary available for people on restricted incomes. If you or someone you know may be eligible for this program, to apply for the bursary, or to sponsor a participant, contact Lisa Hamilton, program director, at 250-871-4252. Visit gardenswithoutborders.org for more information.

— Innisfree Farm

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