Originally established in 1916 as part of the Agricultural Research Station, the Gardens were designed to help new residents, many from the U.K. and other rainy climates, choose ornamental plants for their gardens that would be suitable for the dry Okanagan climate.
Today, you can walk by the demonstration garden beds and learn principles of water-wise gardening with the diverse Welcome Garden, the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, the Cactus Garden, Iris Beds, Meadow, Butterfly Garden, Shade Gardens, and more. The gardens feature a vast collection of perennial and annual flowers, mature trees, grasses and shrubs.
As you stroll through the Gardens you will enjoy views of Okanagan Lake, Giant’s Head Mountain and the Trout Creek Trestle railroad bridge, an outstanding engineering feat constructed for the Kettle Valley Railway.
In collaboration with Agriculture Canada, the site is maintained with help from the non-profit society, the Friends of Summerland Ornamental Gardens.
The Friends promote appreciation for ornamental horticulture, natural and man-made landscapes, and heritage preservation. Through coordinated staff and volunteer efforts we protect and enhance the Gardens, promote their recreational and educational year-round use, stimulate new ideas and techniques and enhance the visitor’s experience. This benefits gardeners, the tourist industry and the community at large.