Today’s Poll

Just about everything at the annual Garden Festival

By Contributor
May 4th, 2014

Who would have thought that three avid gardeners would start one of the most successful festivals in Nelson.

But that’s exactly what happened when Glyn Violini, Lorelie Roll and businesswoman Catherine Cardinal set their plants out on a few tables on Hall Street in 2002 and invited other growers to join in.

This colorful and lively event draws hundreds of gardeners, from all walks of life, for a five hour shopping spree, rain or shine.

The 13th Annual Nelson Garden Festival is set to run on Saturday (May 10).

The West Kootenay EcoSociety has taken the Garden Festival under its wings, and Markets Director Jesse R. Woodward is excited to take on the challenge.

“When the Garden Festival organizers came to me and asked if I would take on the management of this market I felt like it was a perfect fit due to all of the other market organization that I already do,” said Woodward, in his third year managing the West Kootenay EcoSociety’s Cottonwood Community Market, Nelson Downtown Local Market, and the Friday-night Market Fest.

More than 50 vendors and community groups will be on hand with perennials, annuals, vegetable starts, trees, furniture, flowers – just about everything a gardener needs to get started or add to an already great endeavor. Even the chicken manure is coming! If you like to garden this market should not be missed.

“We always hold it on Mother’s Day weekend so you can get something for Mom’s garden as well as your own,” says Violini, who is still involved in organization of the Nelson Garden Festival.

Violini says she is impressed, but not surprised, that the festival has become so successful.

“We knew from the response at the very first festival. This is a community that wants to support local agriculture and local growers. Gardeners know that locally adapted seeds and plants will be healthier and more vigorous.”

Returning for their third year, the boisterous and lively belly-dancing group, Shimmy Mob, will perform at 11 a.m. and noon in front of the Kootenay Food Coop. They are raising awareness and funds for women’s and children’s shelters.

The Nelson Garden Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The streets will be closed on the 200 block of Baker and Kootenay Streets, in front of the Bank of Montreal, from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Late night Nelsonites are reminded to move their parked cars from the festival blocks on Kootenay and Baker Friday night to avoid problems in set up on Saturday.

Parking for the festival is available at the city parkade next to the Hume Hotel. 

For more information contact West Kootenay EcoSociety at 250-354-1909 or

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