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In Sooke, garden club unveils commemorative plaque at Ayre Manor

Club has planted two gardens at assisted living facility
Ayre Manor executive director Kerry Williams and Sooke Garden Club president Lori Kirk with the commemorative stone monument marking the club’s 50th anniversary and the addition of a second garden for the residents to enjoy at Ayre Manor. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)

The Sooke Garden Club’s roots have bloomed and blossomed throughout the community for more than half a century.

The club chose Ayre Manor to mark its 50th anniversary with a ceremony and unveiling of a commemorative stone monument on Aug. 12, a fitting location considering the two gardens the Sooke Garden Club helped establish on the grounds of the assisted living and long-term care facility.

RELATED: Sooke Garden Club marks 50th-anniversary milestone

The first garden for residents was planted by the club in the courtyards in the north and south wings in 2009.

“It’s proven to be a popular spot for the residents, so we thought it would be appropriate to put in another garden,” said Lori Kirk, garden club president.

Ayre Manor executive director Kerry Williams was in full agreement and identified some space near the backyard gate as another area that could use some sprucing up.

“The garden they put in in 2009 has peach trees, apple trees, strawberry and blueberry plants and lots of flowering plants that really burst with colour at this time of the year,” Williams said. “The residents spend a lot of time in the courtyards in the summer, and now that the one at the back entrance is complete, it really adds to the beauty of the gardens.”

The club paid for the plants and completed the spade work for the garden in the fall of 2021 during the Sooke Garden Club’s 50th year, one of many projects the Sooke Garden Club has completed in the community.

Kirk said that club members postponed the anniversary ceremony and unveiling of the plaque until the plants were established in the summer.

Williams and Kirk noted that the garden has therapeutic benefits for Ayre Manor’s residents and club members.

Williams said that Sooke Garden Club volunteers participate in the upkeep of the gardens, which is greatly appreciated.

“Some of our residents help out as well,” he added.

Visit for more on the club and how to become a volunteer.

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About the Author: Rick Stiebel

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