2013 North Peace Garden Tour 2 of 8 : )

Next up was the home and garden of Jean & Bertrand Gammage…

A very peaceful and Buddha-ful garden!

A loaded miniature orange tree finds a summer home on a sunny deck.

This beautiful orange tree loaded with miniature fruit obviously loves its summer home. We used to have one years ago, though nowhere near as healthy as this one. I remember when ours finally produced some little oranges Darcy was certain they would be the “sweetest little nectarines in the world”…not so! The look on his puckered up face was priceless.

gravel mulch not only suppresses weeds and helps hold in moisture, but it also holds heat; perfect for sun loving or tender plants.

Gravel mulch not only suppresses weeds and helps hold in moisture, but it also holds heat; perfect for sun loving or tender plants.

 

Gravel mulch does a great job of suppressing weeds.

Entering the backyard...

Entering the backyard…

A close up of one of the many Buddha sculptures to grace this garden.

The back garden was filled with strategically placed stones, pieces of wood and Buddha sculptures.
 The garden was filled with strategically placed stones, pieces of wood and Buddha sculptures.

and another...

and very simplistic and effective displays…it was truly a delight to find this Asian styled garden nestled in a backyard in Northern BC!

A simplistic effective display

2013 North Peace Garden Tour 1 of 8 : )

Here we go! Over the next eight posts I’ll give you a glimpse of the gorgeous gardens that greeted us during the North Peace Horticultural Society tour that took place on Sunday, July 21, 2013. While it’s not like seeing the gardens in person it does give you an idea of what is going on in backyards up here in zone 2b!

First up is the garden of Cathy & Russ Wilkinson. This lot in Fort St John is packed full with fruit trees, vegetables, containers, shrubs and perennials as well as a pond and a gazebo yet it still feels airy and spacious.

This entrance is worthy of a magazine cover!
This entrance is worthy of a magazine cover!
A beautiful bistro set tucked into a secluded corner makes a great space for morning coffee or afternoon tea. I love stumbling upon these little relaxing respites.
A beautiful bistro set tucked into a secluded corner makes a great space for morning coffee or afternoon tea. I love stumbling upon these little relaxing respites.
I loved this faux fence tucked into the corner of the front lawn. It adds definition and a cottage garden flavour without having the expense of an entire fence. Great idea!
I loved this faux fence tucked into the corner of the front lawn. It adds definition and a cottage garden flavour without having the expense of an entire fence. Great idea!
What a lush, welcoming entrance to the backyard. Hops make a hardy covering for arbors, fences or sheds.
What a lush, welcoming entrance to the backyard. Hops make a hardy covering for arbors, fences or sheds.
Vegetables are my passion and Cathy & Russ had plenty. I loved this grass path leading to the greenhouse. It takes a bit more work to look after than gravel or wood chips but I think the aesthetics--not to mention how it would feel on the feet--is worth it.
Vegetables are my passion and Cathy & Russ have plenty. I loved this grass path leading to the greenhouse. It takes a bit more work to look after than gravel or wood chips but I think the aesthetics–not to mention how it would feel on the feet–is worth it.
Check out this picture-perfect cabbage. It's almost too pretty to eat...almost :)
Check out this picture-perfect cabbage. It’s almost too pretty to eat…almost 🙂
 
 
A shade casting gazebo in the corner of the garden next to the water feature offers the perfect spot to rest after a morning of weeding.
A shade casting gazebo in the corner of the garden next to the water feature offers the perfect spot to rest after a morning of weeding.

A lovely, perfectly scaled pond provided soothing water sounds as well as a home for fish and plants.

A lovely, perfectly scaled pond provides soothing water sounds as well as a home for fish and plants.

Another faux fence in the back yard adds vertical growing space and visual appeal.

Another faux fence in the back yard adds vertical growing space and visual appeal.
I think the garden is in the details and I loved the details in this garden! The succulent roof on the birdhouse was wonderful.

I think a garden is in the details and I love the details in this garden! The succulent roof on this bird house is wonderful.
A wider look at the birdhouse and water feature.
A wider look at the bird house and water feature.
More succulents worth admiring
More succulents worth admiring!
 
While I lack the time and patience for growing low growing thyme on steps and borders, I love the look of it and admire those who do! While I lack the time and patience for the detailed weeding that seems to go into establishing low growing thyme or other creeping crawlers on steps and borders, I love the look of it and admire those who do!
There was even room for that essential ingredient to every successful garden...a compost bin!
There was even room for that essential ingredient to every successful garden…a compost bin!

Hummingbirds Also Love the Colour Blue

Had a great time at the garden tours this year, taking in both the North Peace and the South Peace gardens. I got a new camera which gave me some grief (such as when the battery said it was fully charged and then unexpectedly went dead) and some glory (a hummingbird photo I will share below).

So you can learn from my goofs, here are some tips for taking pictures on tours:

If you have a new camera and a big picture day is coming up take it out on a few test runs beforehand.

Charge your battery the night before and bring along an extra one (also charged) just in case.

Bring along an extra (empty) scan disc.

Make sure the “date stamp” that puts the date on the image is turned off. Unless, of course, you want it on the images.

At the start of each garden take a picture of the Garden Tour sign and the address on the gate or house so you know which place each batch of pictures were taken.

When taking photos shade is your best friend. People are always surprised to learn that their garden pictures will look brighter when taken on a cloudy day. Some (including me) initially refuse to believe it. But the proof is in the pictures. Professional photographers will go so far as to show up at dawn or dusk to take pictures, to ensure the pictures aren’t washed out by the sun. On a tour, however, you take whatever nature gives you. Using your body (or that of a friend or partner) to shade a particular blossom works good. If its not too intrusive (and on a tour it would likely be waaaay too intrusive) use an umbrella to shade your shots.

And speaking of being intrusive, be respectful. If there are lots of people don’t make them wait while you line up the perfect shot. Hang around until the crowd thins. And it goes without saying that you shouldn’t step into the garden beds or anywhere else that might cause damage, pull weeds or tweak with garden ornaments.

If you spot a plant you love and it has a marker take a picture of the marker and then the plant to help you remember what it was. OR if you have to ask what the name is, write it down on a notepad, snap a picture of your note and then the plant.

My new camera takes a picture every time you touch the screen as well as the button, which meant I ended up with some pretty interesting shots. When a hummingbird showed up in Doris and Dale Brocke’s garden just outside of Dawson Creek, BC I got so excited I took pictures of the sky

my head

head

and my feet

before finally capturing the perfect shot…though I did have to crop it to get the darn date stamp off!

hummingbird

People always think red when they’re trying to attract these little hummers, but there are lots of other colours they like too including this blue delphinium…