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The Artisan’s Garden will be offering their popular wreath- making classes again for the holiday season on November 30, December 7 and 14. Gwen and her staff foraged extensively to find the freshest, most beautiful greens from their own garden, from friends’ gardens and from the Sooke forests all around them. As well, they have gathered a variety of unique embellishments and ribbons for the occasion, so you’ll have plenty of decorations to choose from as you assemble your creation. There’s hot apple cider and holiday baking on hand to sample as you work!

Ever been to a summer solstice celebration? Well, you’re in for a treat—Sooke style! Gwen Fisher, owner of the Artisan’s Garden & Pure Elements, has assembled a cast of exciting entertainments to make it an evening you are sure to enjoy, with music, food and a fashion show on June 21st.

One thing I’ve learned about Gwen is that she is a diligent collaborator and advocate for local artists and businesses in Sooke. Her upcoming ‘Summer Solstice Ladies Night’ is a good example of how she ‘works’ with others in her community whenever she holds a special event.

The Artisan’s Garden is in bloom for another eventful year. Along with her plants and flowers, Gwen Fisher, the inspiration behind the Artisan’s Gardens in Sooke, seeks out talented, local artisans to intermingle their art, and vintage or repurposed accessories in her garden for all to enjoy. The big event this year is Gwen’s first ‘Summer Solstice Party’ on June 21 with music, a vintage fashion show, and appies. Plus, it’s a fund raiser for the Sooke Transition House. On June 2, her gardens will be a destination spot for the ‘Sooke Secret Garden Tour’. She and her husband Ed will also be hosting Sooke’s ‘Strawberry Tea & Parlour Show’.

Gwen’s fondest memory last year was the joy she experienced watching her granddaughter engage with garden visitors. She also enjoyed the friendly groups who stop by during the day—like the mother’s walking group who come by with their children to sit, relax and sip coffee with neighbours.

With the holiday season right around the corner, why not take advantage of the lull at this time of year to brighten up the encroaching winter season with a holiday wreath. One of the first things I like to do to add charm to my home is a fresh, handmade wreath for my front door. All the fresh foliage, berries, bells and ribbons always create something unique and truly magical every year. Let us show you how it’s done step by step.

Summer sure flies by and the seasons of change seem to remind us of that in our gardens daily. By August, those of us who grow veggies are busy harvesting, canning, freezing, and planning our winter garden. This is the month that winter plants are available in the nurseries. Growing winter veggies means you will have a nice early start for spring harvesting. And, if you let some of them go to seed, you’ll have bee food in abundance! We love letting our purple kale go to seed. Those 8-foot stocks of beautiful yellow flowers attract our pollinators early in the Spring season.

July has arrived along with the challenges of mid-summer garden beds, planters and hanging baskets. Here are a few tips on how we keep things fresh and healthy at Artisan’s Garden. I’m not a horticulturalist, just a passionate gardener with some basic advice for novice gardeners. For example, I did a demonstration to a couple on how to transplant their rootbound annuals by ripping off those twisted roots at the bottom. Obvious to those who have been gardening for a while, but this couple was thrilled with the new information.

By June, we are able to enjoy the outdoor living space we have worked so hard to create and breathe in the blooms.

Fresh lettuce from our garden is on our menu and the rest of the veggie garden is beginning to show promise. And at The Artisan’s Garden, we get to help new gardeners plan and prepare, learning from our experience and knowledge.

It’s planting season! All of us here at The Artisan’s Garden are already busy creating the most beautiful hanging baskets and planters for the summer season and for Mother’s Day.

With our greenhouse open now, you can come and create a personal planter or hanging basket of your own design, if you wish. We have a wide variety of healthy plants to choose from and, the best part is, you can leave the mess with us. Mothers, daughters and girl friends make an afternoon of it, while enjoying Mackenzie’s special coffee drinks and sweet treats in our garden. Just give us a couple of hours notice that you’re coming and we’ll be sure to have your planting station organized. After that, it’s up to you. Let your own creativity soar!

Imagine for a moment that you’ve discovered an artisan marketplace. You’re strolling through a spacious garden and everywhere you look you see extraordinary things—unique treasures that you’d have a hard time finding anywhere else. It’s not your neighbourhood mall, that’s for sure.

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