Shauna and Dorothy discuss their garden tour of BC and Alberta over the summer. This was the first part of Shauna’s 2021 cross-country trip of seeing and photographing gardens.
First, they dropped by the fabulous Butchart Gardens in Victoria, where a whole new world of trees and shrubs were revealed for their discovery. They particularly loved the Japanese garden, which is a cool, wooded area that brings peace and calm after the vibrancy of the rose garden. It was very hot on the day they visited, the beginning of the heat dome that hovered over the western part of Canada for more than a week.
One of the Vancouver gardens had a 50-foot-tall bamboo clump grown by a gardener who had discovered how to manage the runners by mounding soil around the roots and stems so that if a new shoot tried to break through, he could see it and stop in its track. An entrepreneur turned artist, he carved beautiful things from maple.
Shauna and Dorothy also toured the garden of the Mayor of Chilliwack and toured the streetscapes of Vancouver’s Grandview with Stephanie Rose, one of their national editorial board members. Stephanie teaches people to make soaps and aromatics from natural products on her website, Garden Therapy https://gardentherapy.ca/.
In Alberta, they saw several amazing gardens. A highlight was a day spent with owner Gloria Beck from Parkland Garden Centre in Red Deer. She introduced them to a gardener named Sai, who grew all sorts of interesting things in her garden, but in the back yard, she had a wonderful collection of succulents, many of which she grew from seed, including, of all things, lithops, the living stones!
Shauna and Dorothy’s garden tour’s last stop on this western journey was Lethbridge, where they visited a landscaper who makes fences out of stone and wire. Called gabions, he even used this style of design to craft a fountain.