Splendid fall displays can be created naturally through judicious plant selection and placement.

Creating fall and winter interest in the garden

Sooke Garden Club hosts monthly meeting on Oct. 28

Some traditions are especially cherished. For me, like many other immigrants, sharing Thanksgiving with a “found” extended family is one of those.

For the past 40 years, with relatively few interruptions, we have shared this holiday with one particular family, first in Saskatchewan and now on the West Coast.

As dedicated gardeners, we are unabashedly thankful to be living on our respective islands (they live on Hornby), where working and puttering in the yard can take place year round.

We look forward to checking out the evolution of each other’s garden, discussing our various successes and failures, and inevitably remarking on how something has grown “so much bigger than I thought it would.” There is always much to talk about when it comes to plants!

Thanksgiving is also an important seasonal marker: Most of the harvest-related work now behind us, and we can start planning for next year. It’s therefore an ideal time to walk around the yard and take stock.

At last month’s meeting of the Sooke Garden Club, we focused on replenishing and reorganizing planted areas in preparation for next spring. Discussion covered cutting back/dividing perennials, pruning shrubs, assessing stressed plants, feeding the soil, and so forth.

This month’s presentation is going in a different but complementary direction by looking more closely at plant options: What can we plant in our garden beds or containers that will add landscape interest in the fall and winter months?

Guest speaker this month is Carmen Varcoe, who is quick to reinforce how fortunate we are to live where we do: “Our growing conditions make it possible to have something in the garden to enjoy whatever the season.”

Using a slide show format, Varcoe will talk about ornamental plants that can be grown here with notable success, from perennials to trees and everything in between, and offer ideas for creating season-round appeal.

Varcoe calls herself a “total plant geek,” having grown and nurtured her own 1.75-acre garden for 34 years. She is a member of various garden clubs and currently chairs the Finnerty Gardens advisory board at the University of Victoria. (Finnerty Gardens incorporates 6.5 acres on the UVic campus and is home to more than 4,000 different trees and shrubs, many of them rhododendrons and azaleas and various companion plants.)

Join us Wednesday, Oct. 28, 7 p.m., at St. Rose of Lima Church on Townsend Road. New members are always welcome. Annual fee: $15; guests: $5. Also on the agenda: pumpkin and squash contest; photo contest judging; fall plant sale.

Questions? Visit our website at sookegardenclub.ca, email sooke.gardenclub@yahoo.ca. or phone Rose at 250-642-5509.

•••

Loretta Fritz writes for the Sooke Garden Club.

Just Posted

Vaping a growing problem in Sooke school district

Island’s chief medical officer raises the alarm

West Shore RCMP bust drug lab after fire caused by production of cannabis shatter

View Royal lab near parks and children’s playgrounds, evidence of children in home

Downtown Victoria sees 10-fold increase in condo units since 2016

A report by the Downtown Victoria Business Association details ongoing construction trends

Saanich farm hosts birthday party as wetland turns 10

The Urban Biodiversity Enhancement and Restoration Project invites community to 10th birthday for wetland

Sunset Cinema brings free family film under the stars in Colwood

Sunset Cinema hosts events on the Island from July 23 to 27

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

40 cats, kittens surrendered in apparent animal hoarding at Vancouver home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Vancouver Island provincial park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in Stz’uminus dies from injuries

A male pedestrian was struck in the early morning of June 25

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from Vancouver furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Poll: Rising gas prices force B.C. residents rethink summer road trips

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

Most Read