Designing for all season colours

Sooke Garden Club presents garden and landscape designers' talk

This January photo of Anne Taylor’s back garden showcases a number of her favorite plants for the winter landscape.

Whenever I go to visit my dear friend on Hornby Island, whatever the season, I’m blown away by her beautiful gardens. They have an easy air about them, an inviting casualness and harmony that belie the time she devotes to them. What is clear, though, is that her landscape is a carefully planned and ongoing labour of love. She has made space for a wide variety of plants, selecting for size, shape, texture, foliage/flower colour, and bloom time. In areas where foliage predominates, the allure comes from well-placed contrasts in texture and colour, sometimes subtle and sometimes not. Every visit is a visual feast and an opportunity to learn from a truly accomplished and addicted gardener.

Clearly, not all of us can or are prepared to spend 75 per cent of our awake time creating and maintaining an ornamental garden. That, of course, doesn’t stop us from wanting a landscape that serves eye candy whenever we look out a window. Nor does it mean that we have to forego having such a landscape. The key is in the design and the choice of plants. Trees, shrubs, bulbs, perennials, annuals … where to begin? What plants and combinations perform well through the different seasons?

This month the Sooke Garden Club welcomes Anne Taylor and Theresa Boggs from the landscape design and installation company Good to Grow Landscape Solutions. Their presentation, ‘Designing for All Season Colours,’ will provide a glimpse of some of the plantings that have worked particularly well since they started their business seven years ago. They also promise to highlight a few personal favorites and share some of their landscape creation success stories.

Before starting Good to Grow, Anne Taylor, an avid coastal gardener since 1974, worked for 14 years designing and drafting with Michael Bocking Landscape Architect in Victoria. She also took an eight-month training program on Greater Local Food Security, working with acclaimed organic gardener Carolyn Harriot.

Theresa Boggs holds an Applied Landscape Horticulture Certificate from Capilano College and a certificate as a Journeyman Horticulturist from Kwantlan College. Along with a third team member who is currently finishing her four-year apprenticeship at Kwantlan, these women represent three generations and collectively have over 60 years of experience. As Anne puts it,  “We are women of landscaping wisdom.”

Join us Wednesday, May 27, 7 p.m., at St. Rose of Lima Church on Townsend Road. New members welcome.

Annual fee: $15; guests: $5.

There will also be a parlour show and member plant sale.

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

Loretta Fritz

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