From fountain to lily pond, from fish pool to grotto, the fourth annual garden tour organized by the S.C. Botanical Garden Society last Sunday toured over 160 participants to eight of the Coast's residential gardens. Each of the selections featured water in an interesting way. Two of the tour selections have appeared in gardening magazines.
At Rosewood Country House in Gibsons, the gardens teemed with blossoms including fragrant lavender and wild rose. The Rosewood water feature, originally two small ponds, one fed by a natural spring, is now joined into one and presided over by a tea gazebo and a Kay Bonathan sculpture, the Spirit of the Rainforest.
At Straw Farm, the waterlilies bloomed and the chickens clucked.
In Davis Bay, the show garden used exotic plants and artwork to create drama, while at Soames Point an energetic home-owner has honed the science of keeping golden orfe, a carp-like variety of fish, in a dainty rock pool fed by a stream that splashed through an array of Japanese maples and conifers.
On the steep slopes overlooking Bonniebrook, two gardens captured the tour's attention, for their spectacular setting with views over the Strait of Georgia and their creative landscaping on vertical terrain. One homeowner responded to the challenge by winding a pathway down to an almost formal, immaculate garden with healthy raspberry-red lilies afloat in a gorgeous centrepiece pool. The other home, tucked away on a terrace, used a rockery and waterfall, with stonework, garden ornaments and a profusion of flowers and shrubs including bamboo and banana palm planted along the watercourse that descended to a rock pool.
On Chamberlin Road, pieces of Pat Forst's pottery appeared among the grasses surrounding her lily pond. A clay face peered from the bushes, a clay cat purred on the porch. Across the street, an organic farm used nine-foot fences to defeat the leaf-loving deer. Their water feature is removed from the farm's action and offers a meditative space.
The tour successfully raised approximately $2,000 for the Botanical Garden group. Their next event is on Monday, July 10, at Quality Farms where three experienced gardeners, Paddy Wales, Beverley Merryfield and Bruce McConnell, will give a workshop in making a jewel box garden. The workshop starts at 7 p.m. Register at 604-885-0890.