Eva Luczwynska looks for pole beans to pick in the Seniors’ Gardening Group plot at Capital City Gardens on Kent Street.

Eva Luczwynska looks for pole beans to pick in the Seniors’ Gardening Group plot at Capital City Gardens on Kent Street.

Communities blossom at allotment gardens

Tomatoes, berries, potatoes, lettuce, rhubarb, apples, artichokes, herbs, and flowers – if it can be grown, it probably is at the Seniors’ Gardening Group’s plot at Capital City Gardens.

Tomatoes, berries, potatoes, lettuce, rhubarb, apples, artichokes, herbs, and flowers – if it can be grown, it probably is at the Seniors’ Gardening Group’s plot at Capital City Gardens.

There’s no cost to join the group, which is in its fourth year, and they’re always accepting new seniors interested in gardening with others.

The gardens, well known because of their visibility off the Pat Bay Highway, are accessed through Kent Road.

“The goal is (to give) people an opportunity, if they aren’t physically able to do a whole plot themselves, but still want to come out and garden and socialize and reap the benefits of growing their own food,” said Diane Andiel, who manages the program delivered through Saanich Parks and Recreation.

Andiel says the 10-member group’s goals of working together and sharing the harvest have been well realized.

“Some of the people that joined initially were really quite fit. After they dabbled with the seniors’ group, they went on the waiting list and got their own plots themselves,” she said. “Those people still come back and help the group.”

The gardens have 120 plots and there is a waiting list for prospective gardeners. However, there is space for seniors who don’t mind working with a group. Call Andiel at 250-475-5412.

“Some people have a lot of experience and some gardeners have none,” she said. “It has nothing to do with your gardening history. It’s whether you think you would enjoy coming together and working in the dirt.”

Capital City Gardens is one of several parcels of land used for community gardening in Saanich.

The Agnes Street Community Gardens hosted an open house last weekend to give its 80-plot organic garden a little attention. People interested in joining the Agnes Street Gardeners’ Association are welcome to add their name to the list of gardeners waiting for plots to become available.

There will also be new opportunities for gardeners through the UVic Campus Community gardens, moving to a new location on the south side of McKenzie Avenue this fall.

nnorth@saanichnews.com