Category Archives: garden visits

exploring other gardens

Landscape a Driveway

I’m hurrying to a new lunch place when I stop short. I’ve never seen this before — but I like it!
How can I make my driveway more appealing?
Here is my answer — landscape the driveway itself.
Genius! And beautiful!

photo by SVSeekins

The rock garden is set smack in the middle of the driveway, leaving the planting safe from the tire tracks on either side. Here’s the following challenge: What is a good driveway plant? The succulents & mossy groundcovers grow low enough that they’re safe as the car’s undercarriage passes above them.

stonecrops, creeping sedums, succulent, driveway rock garden, rockery, crevice garden, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Perhaps the rockery itself also serves to protect the plantings from treads. Situating the creeping sedums in low planting pockets reduces their risk of compaction. Maybe that’s why they’re often called stonecrops?

hens and chicks, Sempervivum, houseleeks, common houseleek, liveforever, succulent, evergreen groundcover,stonecrops, creeping sedums,, driveway rock garden, rockery, crevice garden, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Sempervivum (Hens & Chicks) are tough as nails, too. They happily grow in gravel, forming such tight clumps of rosettes that weeds can rarely squeeze themselves into the party. It’s an added bonus that houseleeks come in many colour varieties.

driveway rock garden, rockery, crevice garden, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Straight through our coastal winter, the evergreen rockery has interest. And with so many foliage colours, can it be called evergreen? Isn’t it more like evercolour? Is that even a word? It should be. There’s so much variety. 🙂

creeping thyme, Thymus praecox, hens and chicks, Sempervivum, succulent, driveway rock garden, rockery, crevice garden, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

The drought-tolerant creeping thyme provides background support to the showy houseleeks through the cold months. I envision its mound of bright pink flowers as the headliner through June and July.

Our garden successfully hosts all of these plants. The biggest key to our success is that the neighbourhood deer turn their noses up to all of them. (I’m always thrilled to find something pretty that they won’t browse. )

Was the hardsaper skilled enough to gently slope the bricks toward the central rock garden? The rain could irrigate the plants, soak through the gravel & replenish the water table. Cities are promoting permeable landscapes. This garden is pretty and environmentally friendly.

I’m guessing it’s also a reasonably low-maintenance bed…
occassionally pinching out weeds from between crevices,
sheering spent blooms,
blowing debris away… wouldn’t that be all?
But looks can be deceiving. Next time I pass by, I’m going to knock on the door & ask the gardener. 🙂

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West Saanich Snowdrop Meadow

A friend told me about this roadside delight last year but I wasn’t able to get out to see it.

galanthus, snowdrops, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Today, I had the chance. We drove out of Victoria & wound our way along West Saanich Road. North of Brentwood Bay Village but south of the airport turnoff, we came upon it. 🙂 We had to pull over and marvel at the abundance. Even in the rain, these snowdrops made my day feel a little sunnier.

galanthus, snowdrops, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Doesn’t it just make you wonder who planted the first bulbs in this patch? How long ago was that? It hasn’t been tended in a very long time, but I’m glad it survives.

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other snowdrop patches I admire:

Smile of the Day 4

Hedge consumes sign, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

We were cycling along, minding our own business, when I just had to laugh out loud.

It’s a Hedge Monster consuming a street sign.
Caught in the act!
🙂

It’s a funky neighbourhood place marker.
Do little kids use it to help them find their way home from school?
How big was it when it was first planted?
How long has it been this big?
So many questions…

Hedge consumes sign, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

The foliage density impresses me… as does the tidiness of clipping inside the shrub itself — around the street sign.

The stains on the sidewalk & driveway tell me the hedge sometimes overwhelms its allowed space.

It could easily impede

  • driveway access.
  • mower access on the neighbour’s lawn.
  • pedestrian access along the sidewalk.

How often does the gardener sheer this shrub to keep it tidy?

I giggle to myself & cycle away, on the lookout for more fun.

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