Small can be beautiful

Sooke Garden Club will talk about small gardens at next meeting

Colours

When it comes to gardens, there’s ample evidence that ‘small’ can be every bit as beautiful as ‘big.’ Small gardens can be just as rewarding in other ways, too: compact, compelling, productive, soothing, challenging, ever-changing. Just take a look online at some of the sites showcased in Victoria Hospice’s annual Teeny Tiny Garden Tour and you’ll get a good idea of what’s possible in a very limited space.

The trend toward greater housing density in the Sooke area means a lot more people living closer together on smaller lots. Well thought-out landscaping can help offset some common drawbacks of close living, such as noise and a lack of outdoor privacy. It can also help meet homeowners’ preferences in terms of the yard’s aesthetics, purpose, and interface with nature.

On January 28, Pam Day will get the Sooke Garden Club’s 44th year underway by guiding members through the process of designing, or often re-designing, today’s smaller garden spaces. She will cover the fundamental considerations that apply to either situation: sun/shade patterns; topography; soil conditions; homeowner needs/desires; budget; order of work; and who will do it! She will also talk about the decorative stuff – choosing the plants and other features that will make your haven your own.

Pam is a certified florist and contends that many of the basics of floral design are applicable to designing an outdoor space. The goal of both is to achieve a result that it is well proportioned, harmonious and functional.

A long-time gardener and lover of beauty in all its forms, especially plant life, Pam brings considerable knowledge and experience to this topic. She has designed four gardens of her own. The first two, in Ottawa, were of the new, bare lot variety. The last two, in Sooke, required learning about a totally different climate zone and the joys of sharing with wildlife. One garden started as an open, grassy field, and the other was a neglected inherited garden. Pam will share what she has learned along the way, with the hope that “it will encourage you to make your small garden the place where you love to spend time.”

The Sooke Garden Club’s 2015 Calendar of Events is ready. Upcoming guest presentations include Alpines in Rock, Wood & Crevice Gardens (February); Saving Seed & Creating a Garden Calendar (March); Apples, Pears and Quinces (April); and Perennials (May).

Parlour shows will again be held in conjunction with regular meetings and one of two summer garden parties. Also scheduled are various garden-related contests and a fall ‘Walk & Talk’ with landscaper Glen Thelin. Go to sookegardenclub.ca. to see the complete schedule.

Please join us on January 28, 7 p.m., at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on Townsend Road. New members are always welcome (annual fee: $15). If you have questions, please email sookegardenclub@yahoo.ca or phone Rose at 250-642-5509.

Submitted by Loretta Fritz