Category Archives: projects

art of creation

Building A Privacy Trellis

Clematis montana on fence, mountain clematis, Himalayan clematis , garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

When we first moved to our corner lot, it was surrounded by a rickety fence hosting a pretty, spring-blooming clematis. I liked the clematis, but the fence was on borrowed time. As traffic came down the hill and around the curve, drivers could see right into our yard. We wanted more privacy than the fence could give. A trellis would obscure drivers’ views, provide the vine with a better opportunity to climb, AND snaz up the garden with a bit of Architectural Detail. 🙂

build a privacy trellis, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

After the fence demolition, C dug 2 precisely spaced foundation holes. Two 4 foot long pieces of 2×2 angle iron were drilled for lug bolts and painted with primer against rusting. Instead of setting wooden posts straight into the ground, the angle iron supports were concreted into the holes instead. The posts bolt onto the supports about 6 inches above soil level. This structure won’t collapse in a few years because the posts rot out!

A beam spans the posts with an extra overhang on either side. Two corner supports beef up stability & increase the load the trellis can carry. Rafters and purlins top the beam.

build a privacy trellis, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
build a privacy trellis, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

After that, the lattice was built & installed. The vine now has lots of opportunities to spread out, scramble & climb. The yard is not nearly as exposed. There’s a feeling of privacy without the claustrophobia of hiding behind a fortress. I like it.

I reckon the Clematis montana likes it, too. The roots nestle into the moist soil on the north side of the trellis, yet the vine basks in the sunshine.

build a privacy trellis, Cematis montana, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Hooray for the carpenter! Happy plants – happy gardener.


Smile of the Day 3

There wasn’t time for a good look as we drove past…
So I asked the driver to turn around. I’m glad he did. Perhaps he got as big a smile out of seeing this happy little guy as I did.

Thanks to the creative folks who set this Jack-o’-lantern at the end of their driveway.


Happy Daffodil Campaign – Part 2

One beautiful sunny day, way back in June 1990, I went hatless at the bicentennial celebrations around Sooke Harbour.  I was having a blast.  The activity & cooling sea breeze distracted me from the danger.  As an adult, I knew better, but… gosh, I got scorched!

Susie Seekins Mt. Tolmie Garden Care Victoria

By that evening, the tops of my ears were bright red & tender.
Even the top of my head, where my hair was parted, sunburned.

Time to act more like a grown-up!

I’ve been a hat kinda girl since.

That was 30 years ago!  I’ve been so good for decades.

my left ear, stitches removed.
phot by CD Miller

Recently, the dermatologist agreed with my concern over an odd spot on the outer ridge of my left ear.  A small biopsy determined it was basal cell carcinoma (BCC).  Treatable.  A quick visit with a plastic surgeon removed a larger section along the ear helix, to be sure all of the cancer was taken.

This is me practicing caution & assertiveness.  Awhile back, I  learned the most common spot for women to get skin cancer is on the ankle (See: My Happy Daffodil Campaign – Pt. 1).  Now I’m happy I paid attention to this little spot, too.

Today’s lessons:

  • BCC occurs most often on skin that’s suffered serious sunburns – even if those burns happened way back in childhood.

    my left ear, stitches removed.
    photo by CD Miller
  • This is the most common spot for men to get skin cancer. I guess a baseball cap might shade the face, but does diddly for protecting the ears.

Ageing has also presented me with dry, flakey skin on the back of my hands.  I learned it’s from long past sun exposure, too.  It’s called actinic keratoses  – NOT cancer.  But it is a precursor to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
Who knew there were so many kinds of skin cancer?

Susie Seekins Mt. Tolmie Garden Care Victoria
photo by A Fox

Whenever my specialist becomes concerned about one of my spots of actinic keratoses, he zaps it with liquid nitrogen.  It’s a simple treatment. I gotta like simple remedies… especially to avoid the alternative.

The other day the ear surgery results came back – I learned that for this surgery, all cancer was removed successfully.
It is lovely to ‘Live & Learn.’


BCCancer Agency – non-Melanoma types