They encourage you to get your hands dirty, go for a walk, or just relax amongst the gardens.
The volunteers at The Gardens on Anderton welcome visitors seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for anyone interested to plant a garden, enjoy the gardens or even listen to a concert amongst them.
“The goal of the gardens is to create wellness for the community in general,” explains Len Landry, president of the Anderton Therapeutic Gardens board.
“Anyone can come out and take part in a garden or enjoy them.”
The gardens began in 1997 when founding members Joy and Bill Georgeson leased the farmland behind Anderton Nursery.
The property was then transformed over the years with the help of members, who created a setting featuring an array of beautiful garden spaces.
“The space is filling up slowly over the years,” explained Landry who added there are between 100 and 110 members who help with some of the manual labour duties.
There are two main gardening programs which take place on Anderton — allotment plots available to rent for a nominal fee for those who want to grow a garden, and the Green Thumb Program, which helps those who have physical or mobility challenges grow a garden.
Landry noted the garden beds are raised for the program, and there is assistance for those who may need it.
“It’s a real social group who meet once or twice a week. It’s not just gardening either,” he explained, adding there are presentations and other meetings.
The Green Thumb Program has no age limit, and Landry said people gain overall wellness from “being in the garden, with their hands in the soil, enjoying their surroundings. It’s a great program to grow the community, friendship, and make new connections, especially for those new to the Valley or living in apartments.”
This year, said Landry, the board changed the name for the gardens proper from the Anderton Therapeutic Gardens to The Gardens on Anderton.
“We are looking to play down therapeutic — you don’t have to be ill to get wellness and to enjoy the gardens; there’s a natural wellness through nature,” he added, but noted the society will keep the original name.
He said the gardens host a variety of events throughout the year, including music and a gardening series.
This Saturday, the gardens will host a musical concert featuring two groups: Inclusion from Campbell River and the North Island Old Time Fiddlers from 2 to 4 p.m.
“We’ve had quite good success (with the music series),” said Landry. “We will continue next year. Not many people who have come out for the concerts have been to the gardens before.”
Landry noted in addition to the volunteers who keep the gardens operational from mid-May to mid-September each year, he credits the Anderton Nursery, which provides the lease for their property and water.
The Anderton Therapeutic Gardens also host their annual Christmas House Tour, which is entering its fifth year. Landry added it is a major fundraiser for the society, which allows the public to view designer-decorated homes from Nov. 23 to 25.
The Gardens on Anderton are located at 2012 Anderton Rd. For more information, visit www.gardensonanderston.org, or call 250-702-4186.