Are you interested in learning about heritage gardening? If so the City of Surrey would love to hear from you. Heritage gardening is the growing of plants that would have been grown in a different era. For example, if a homestead was built in the early 1900’s the plants that were grown then could be very different from ones we see today. Wouldn’t it be interesting to research these old plants and see if you could grow them again? Well, that’s just what happens at the Historic Stewart Farm in Surrey. The gardens are kept up by volunteers who plan the flower and vegetable gardens using crops that were grown when the Stewart family lived in the home. In the fall they collect and save seeds to use the following year. Each summer you can enjoy the beauty of old roses, hollyhocks and peonies in the cottage style garden.
The City of Surrey is always looking for new garden volunteers. If you love gardening and have a few hours to spare this is the place for you. Volunteers commit to helping out in the gardens at the Stewart Farm for about three hours per week. You don’t work alone as there are always other volunteers to work with. That’s what makes volunteering fun as you learn from other gardeners and can take those lessons home with you. For information on what the City of Surrey is looking for check out the criteria here.
The Stewart farm is am amazing place to visit and volunteer in the gardens. As you enter the old homestead you can view farmland for miles beyond. Along with the many heritage gardens is an orchard planted many years ago. The orchard is home to over thirty apple, pear and plum trees which are carefully maintained and produce fruit each summer. It’s a special place that lets you dream about life a hundred years ago. Fruit and vegetables grown in the gardens are used for community programs so it’s all about giving back.
Ask yourself these questions. Did they have access to water back then or was it pumped from an old well? How did they maintain the gardens back then? What equipment did they use? It’s definitely worth a tour of the Stewart Farm to have these questions answered. Come out to the Seedy Saturday event on April 7 between 11:00am- 3:00pm to take a walk around and ask about the heritage gardens. Volunteers are always around to answer questions on event days. Imagine growing heritage vegetables in the garden shown above. Isn’t it beautiful?
For more information about the Stewart Farm I wrote about the Stewart Farm Seedy Saturday. I will be at this years event as a master gardener so come say hello and I can show you the gardens.