Garden Memories

Garden Memories

…One of the most rewarding as well as most encompassing tasks I’ve faced as a gardener over the past 9 years has been the landscaping around our home  in BC’s Gulf Islands. These small but absolutely gorgeous islands just off shore from British Columbia are one of the best places in the world to live, in my opinion.

garden memories

The islands are populated with interesting and accomplished people – painters, photographers, gardeners, writers, musicians, boat builders, poets, world class chefs, and commuting executives just to name a few. My husband is one of the photographers (these are his photos). I’m one of the gardeners, and also one of the aspiring painters. Many of my paintings have used the garden we designed and created for inspiration.

Since our island is over-run with the small island deer, as a gardener, my biggest challenge has been finding a way to deter them from eating everything I plant. I’ve known them to decimate an entire squash patch in one night, chewing right through the tough outer skins. They once ate every tomato plant I’d grown, right down to the roots, again in one night. And those tomatoes were behind a screen of deer-proof (hah!) netting.

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The answer was for us to design and build a sturdy seven foot fence around the area I wanted to have as a landscaped courtyard, and allow these pesky critters free run of the rest of our 8 acres. So far it has worked. You can see our labor of love fence here.

Although the deer have never made it through or over the fence, many plants I’ve chosen are deer-resistant. Texture and color contrast are important garden elements. So is low maintenance – so many of my plant choices are either perennials and shrubs.

garden memories

Since writing this in 2010, we have sold our home and moved a little farther north, to the Comox valley on Vancouver Island. Here we’re able to enjoy close proximity to an international airport, to hiking and skiing areas, and to family. We get to share the bounty of a brother-in-law’s orchard, and grow our own tomatoes and herbs.

Although I’ll always miss my gardens, I’ve found that no matter where you are, gardens abound. They’re there to explore, to marvel at, and to refresh your mind and soul, regardless of where you live. And I have my garden memories as photographs.

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