Category Archives: boulevard garden

growing outside the fence

Fall Fun with Friends

It rained over the past week.  What a transformation.  It’s truly fall now.

entrance to Jeneece Place
photo by SVSeekins

Woo hoo!  Wishes granted.

Because I’d already committed to helping out in the garden at Jenecce Place, I was especially grateful for the wet.   The West Coast might be damp & chilly in the fall, but weeds are a whole lot easier to dig if the ground isn’t concrete dry.

the spot for the future kitchen garden
photo by SVSeekins

There were 2 challenges presented to the volunteers from the View Royal Garden Club on Sunday afternoon.

The first was to create space for a veggie garden near the kitchen area of the house.  The chosen site was previously planted with native  kinnickinnick  for ground-cover & a blue fescue grass for architectural interest.

the weedy slope along the sidewalk at Jeneece Place
photo by SVSEekins

The second challenge was the slope running along the entrance sidewalk.  There were Yarrow, Oregon Grape, and the occasional grouping of  blue fescue tufts planted close to the walkway, but nothing further up the slope. The staff’s concern was the upcoming rainy season would bring erosion problems.

What complimentary challenges!  One site needed plantings removed – – the other needed plantings added.  Kismet!

the crew gets busy weeding & digging transplant holes
photo by SVSeekins

We set about weeding & preparing planting holes.  The effort kept us warm.

When gardening in a team a fair amount of visiting can be accomplished while still continuing the task at hand.  I like that  🙂

I also found it interesting to see the different tools each seasoned gardener chose for her/his tasks.  Perhaps I’ll try some new tricks next time I’m in my own garden.

Dark clouds gathered, but happily the rain stayed away.  We progressed to moving plants from one bed directly into the other.

photo by SVSeekins

I’m always amazed at how proportions & space gets mixed up in my head.  I figured the plants to be moved wouldn’t come close to filling up the space available on the slope.  I was mistaken.  Near the end of the afternoon we squeezed in extra holes between new transplants just to finish clearing out the kitchen garden bed.

muffin / tea break before heading home
photo by SVSeekins

With a sense of satisfaction we sat down to muffins & tea knowing that the job was done.  it’s so nice when a project starts & finishes in one gathering.

A bit more visiting was a lovely wrap to the afternoon before I headed home to a warm shower.

© copyright 2012 SVSeekins

California Poppy

California Poppy - many blooms, garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

I like the saturated orange of the California Poppy bloom.  It’s bright and happy.

Even more, I like that the plant survives well on roadsides & rocky areas.  A plant that doesn’t need nurturing – bonus!

California Poppy at Snake Rock, garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

This little patch of poppies lives just down the street at Snake Rock.  It blooms in mid-spring & continues well into the dry summer.

Of course, the thought occurred to me, “We NEED that in our garden!” Can’t you imagine how lovely a wave of bright orange would be in the shrub border?

California poppy - seed pod, garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

Even C is encouraging.  He really likes the bright orange blooms, too. So, for the past 5 years, I’ve gathered seed from the roadside, then spread it through our gardens.

There’s been the occasional reward, but mostly I’ve had little success.

The California Poppy has a long tap-root, so where ever it pops up, that’s where it has to stay.  It does not like being moved.  And it doesn’t seem to like being watered either.   Nor fed.  Nor coddled in any way.

The shrub border had a fair amount of fertilizer, mulch & water over the past few years, as the plants were all so new & getting established.  Maybe that’s been too much attention for the poppy.

The most successful patch is on our rocky hillside.  It’s a well-drained site and bakes in the sun.  The California Poppy will grow in the soil, but seems even happier in the gravel of the pathway!  Go figure.

California Poppy in gravel path, garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

So far, I’m resisting the urge to weed it out of the path.  I’ve decided that it’s ‘whimsical’ growing there.

I’m happy about growing a local wildflower.  I’m also delighted that the deer, who spend their afternoons on our little mountain, leave the California Poppy alone.

My plan is to keep spreading seed in the rest of the garden & be happy with whatever we get.  That’s the true definition of ‘low maintenance,’ isn’t it?


© copyright 2012 SVSeekins

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Chestnut Trees

Chestnut lined street (behind Hillside Mall)
photo by SVSeekins
chestnut bloom
photo by SVSeekins

Every spring, I pause to appreciate this blossom lined street.  Granted, it’s not as wonderful as the earlier spring cherry blossoms, but I still think it’s awesome.

In the autumn, the chestnuts are pretty awesome, too.  That’s when the nuts drop.  On a street like this, can you imagine how often the car alarms go off?

Chestnut in seed pods, garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

That’s not the only fun.  The nuts have a thick, fleshy cover – – and that’s covered in spikes! They’re called conkers.  They remind me of some Ninja weapons seen in video games.  It would be awful to step on one, much less be hit by it.

photo by SVSeekins

There’s an old story out there that chestnuts ward off spiders.  One year I scattered nuts in corners & closets but didn’t notice any difference.  I did feel a bit foolish cleaning house but leaving the nuts behind the couch.   Perhaps it’s the spiked conker that spiders don’t like?  I’m not about to leave any of those rolling around the house.

There are 2 common kinds of chestnuts used as decorative trees in Victoria.  I’m told one is the kind we hear about ‘roasting on an open fire.’  The other is a horse-chestnut, which I’m assuming is for using the nuts as horse feed?  Perhaps it’s like corn: some kinds are good eating, others are better for feeding stock.

Anyway, spring is the best time of year for me to tell them apart. One blooms a lovely reddish, the other a soft creamy colour.

As for which is for ‘roasting’ & which is for ‘horses,’ I just don’t know.  Can you help out with that?


© copyright 2012 SVSeekins

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