Alysha and her favourite fairy garden. (Sheri Regnier photo)

‘Feast for the Senses’ in Greater Trail, Saturday

Hills to Valley garden, music, and art tour goes July 6

A magical and enchanted garden abounding in fairies, pixies, gnomes and other delights, perfectly describes “Stop #5” on the Hills to Valley garden, music and art tour.

The outdoor affair goes Saturday, rain or shine, in nine incredible garden “stops” located from the outskirts of Fruitvale through to Trail, Warfield and Rossland.

“Stop #5” is the East Trail backyard of Lyn and Dave Sturgeon. The couple’s garden truly shows what can happen when the love of growing, combined with whimsy and the helping hands of a young neighbour named Alysha, fosters lasting friendships as it re-energizes the earth.

“I am from Sudbury, and it has a worse reputation than Trail does, or did, for the same reasons,” says Dave. “But not any longer. So this is a transformation of a barren piece of ground in a ‘bad’ location into what you see now. We hope to inspire others to do the same.”

Lyn says when they bought the home almost 20 years ago, there wasn’t any green to be seen. The property was dirt and rocks, nothing was alive and thriving like it is today.

“So I started putting in flowers, and the thing is, I never found one worm, not one,” Lyn reminisced. “But after years of feeding the soil, we have worms everywhere. So this shows the possibility of what can happen, and it shows the enjoyment it give us just being here in it. And my neighbours and friends love to come over to spend time here as well.”

One neighbour in particular, Alysha, visits the couple often. Since the age of four, Alysha has been helping with the greening and upcycling of materials for features like the lighting, though creating fairy gardens has become her specialty.

“I like how we made everything and how it’s put in place,” said Alysha. “It looks so pretty.”

The Sturgeon’s home is one of nine backyards showing in the fourth Annual Hills to Garden tour, which organizers are calling a “Feast for the Senses.”

“Because not only are there outstanding gardens located between Rossland and Fruitvale and specifically selected for variety, enjoyment and , inspiration,” began Gina Ironmonger. “But, in addition, there are also 18 musical performances and artisans in every garden. The Hills to Valley tour is like no other with gardens, music, dancers, painters and artisans designed to tickle all of your senses.”

There are a few ways to be part of the sensory event, which runs from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on July 6.

First, is the self-guided tour. With the purchase of a $5 ticket, visitors are given a map with nine stops to take-in at leisure (between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.).

Or, with the purchase of a $20 ticket, the self-guided tour includes a special luncheon from noon until 2 p.m. at Redstone Golf Course, prepared by Red Seal Chef Declan Guy.

“Listen to the sounds of flutist Lois Allen while enjoying magnificent valley and mountain views,” Ironmonger said.

For those not wanting to drive from hills to valley, there is the option of a guided bus tour. For $50, visitors will be driven to each stop, and have their lunch at Redstone.

For tickets to the guided bus tour call Roberta at 250.364.2884.

Tickets for the self-guided tour are available at Pharmasave and The Doorway in Trail, Mountain Nugget Chocolate and Kootenay Gateway in Rossland, Country Roads General Store in Fruitvale, and at Kalawsky Chevrolet Buick GMC in Castlegar.

For anyone out of town who cannot get to one of those locations, call 250.364.2884 or 250.231.8671.


Alysha and her friend Logan.

Alysha, Lyn and Logan.

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