Thursday, June 13, 2019

ROBBLOG #785- Garden As Though You Will Live Forever

"All gardeners know better than other gardeners"- Ancient Chinese Proverb

There you have it folks.
Truer words.
I thought I'd talk about gardening here on the Island since I have been doing a lot of looking at plants over the past while.

Last weekend the Mister and I toured seven gardens in Chemainus- about 15 minutes from us and right on the Pacific. The gardens were for the most part in Olde Town Chemainus but two in a newer section of town. Well, by new, I mean 2004 and upwards.

We saw a garden bathed by Ocean breezes and the smell of salt water. It was private with a hedge of Yew- if I remember. The hedge had grown up and around a deer fence and all one could see was green. It was wonderfully private.

A Bee on our Butterfly Bush
We do have to contend with deer here. They wander around at anytime of the day or night. Chomping on hedges, flowers and this time of year- strawberry plants.
Just ask our neighbour "Tall Steve".
They are lovely animals until they start destroying your garden. I spray a product called Plant Skyyd on rocks around the garden's perimeter. It seems to work.
We also try to plant non, deer-friendly pants.

Other gardens on the tour featured vegetables mixed with flowering specimens and one with a plethora of palms, yuccas and Mediterranean type foliage.
Listen to me talk all garden-like.
"Specimens". "Foliage". Huh...

I especially loved a neighbourhood and two gardens in particular that could have been at home anywhere in Florida. The neighbourhood was fairly mature at about 15 years old. Huge palms were planted on many front yards. Sturdy Yucca's and evergreen plants including Heather was everywhere.
It was a delight and houses all seemed to have that Floridian or Island feel.
A nice afternoon and only 12 dollars each for admission.
A bargain.

Butchard Dancing Waters "Ross Fountain"
A couple of days later we did a day trip to the Butchard Gardens in Saanich near Victoria. We took the Mill Bay Ferry across the water to Brentwood Bay and then a quick five minute drive to the entrance. We had a vehicle and three occupants and it cost us 99 bucks to get in and park. Prices inside at refreshment stands, snack bars and restaurants were all inflated as well. Afternoon tea would set you back $41 which is pretty standard unless you care to go to the "mother" of all Afternoon High Teas at the Empress hotel and pay eighty-some bucks.
One hundred and eighteen if you plan to have a glass of wine.

Anyhoo, after the initial shock of the admission price wore off, the gardens were amazing. I liked the Mediterranean Garden best since all the plants inside would grow here at Palm Villa.
The Rose garden was huge and the Japanese Garden quiet and thoughtful with a miriade of water features.
Very quiet.
Seventy or more gardeners both full and part time keep the Butchard Gardens looking pristine. It kind of feels like being in a Disney Movie what with all the colour and diversity.

After seeing the private gardens and the public- yet pricier, Butchard Gardens we knew we had to tackle the privacy issued we have at Palm Villa. Without going into lots of detail and copious amounts of "we said, they said, he said", let me just say that we have expressed our feelings to the Owner/Developer of the neighbourhood where we live. Privacy is the main topic we hear from prospective buyers as they walk alone the side street on the south side of our house. The builder- and I suppose North Cowichan official,s have deemed the space between houses is just fine and the lack of privacy in many yards- including ours, is "no big whup".

Well it is a "big whup" and I have told the builder that on several occasions. We are lucky we have a corner lot but we have a house built behind us that tower over our back yard. We even have a footpath about 10 feet from our backyard fence. Black, chain link fences look like a row of dog kennels and YES I have also used those words when face to fence with the builder.
His eyes glaze over when one talks of privacy concerns.
"Bet you don't have people walking by twenty feet from your back Lanai, do you"- I asked him one day. Imagine a glazed look at this juncture.

Palm Villa South garden
Our Arbour Roses
We've mulled this over and have made a decision.
We are having a landscaper plant a good bunch of Leyland Cypress trees along a section of our side yard and back yard.
This hedge is fast growing and will give us the privacy we need. Our gardens receive many accolades from neighbours and visitors alike and if you knew us in Orillia, Ontario and knew our gardens at lovely Pine Tree House you know we have a lot of plants!
Eight to ten feet of height is all we need from the Leyland Cypress and these plants can reach fifty!
Pruning sheers are at the ready!

Now, we don't need thick privacy that would allow Hugh Jackman to sunbathe naked if he popped by for tea, wanting to work on his "all over" tan as he sipped away.
Although, it would be nice if he paid a surprize visit...
Sort of private enough so we can't see a hacking, cigarette puffing neighbour accepting a weekly delivery of reservation-made, contraband ciggies to enable coughing and inhaling to continue through the next week.
Good Lawrd!

No, just nice and Secret Gardenish to be able to pull one's nylon boxer shorts out of the crack in one's arse after one has bent over to smell the roses.

It's the little things- isn't it?