The Okanagan region is well-known for its orchards. If you like fresh fruit and vegetable and lots of them, you've come to the right place. Many large orchards and farms are off the beaten path, but many are right on the road, and there are many signs to beckon you. We found a very nice orchards just by driving around. Some also specialize in organically grown produce, so ask if it's your cup of tea.
Same goes for vineyards. Many offer tours and free taste tests.
Summerland Ornamental Gardens
Summerland Ornamental Gardens is on a hill overlooking Lake Okanagan in Summerland. The Gardens are maintained by a non-profit organization and admission is by donations (it's worth it). There are many manicured flower plots -- the daisies are the most luxuriant -- and also a xeriscape garden.
The Great Fire of August 2003
The following account and these photos come from Allan Hall, a former UBC Engineering professor of mine. Him and his wife Jenny live a bit south of the city of Kelowna.
The fire started on the other side of Lake Okanagan due to a lightning strike on August 16th. Fortunately the width of the lake and the winds have prevented the embers from coming over to this side . . . so far. We get some smoke but not as much as Kelowna and Penticton got due to the winds.
The fire now extends from south of Kelowna to just north of Narramata on the east side of the lake, about 20 miles long. Last night was the worst as they evacuated about 10,000 people from the Mission area of Kelowna and there are reports of about 20 homes being destroyed in an area hard up against the mountain park, where the fire started. Most of the time we can't see the fire area because of the smoke but at night if the wind gets up then it is an awesome sight as trees "roman candle" and the fire moves with the wind at an incredible speed. It can move over a kilometre in an hour with a strong wind. All the ground is completely dry as we haven't had any rain here since May. They have used helicopters and water bomber flying boats plus retardant dropping aircraft to try to contain it but so far have been unable to stop its progress.
The three photos give you an idea of the view from this side of the lake.
All Best wishes
Jenny and Allan