Fencing the garden…but not for racoons!

raccon drins from daisy surrounded birdbath

Did you know there are racoons in most of Saskatchewan and a large portion of Alberta? It begs the question why we don’t have any here. Despite the cute factor, I know as a gardener that’s a good thing, but it makes me curious why they have never infiltrated the Peace. If they can live in Alberta and Saskatchewan you would think they could survive here as well. While we’re at it, I am also grateful we don’t have any poisonous snakes or spiders or skunks. You see? There is always something to be grateful for, you just have to think about it long enough. As for the big black bear spotted just a mile from our place, well, we don’t need to think about that.

I just finished setting up some moose and deer fencing around my four favourite trees in the upper garden; a maple, a Thunderchild crab apple, a Kurt apple and a plum tree. I fenced them individually using four t-posts and four eight foot sections of lightweight stock panels. The panels are just under five feet high but the idea is that the moose and deer won’t jump into such a small enclosure nor can they quite reach over to nibble on the trees. That’s the plan anyway. We will see how it actually works. As you can see in the picture below, by corralling the trees individually I have inadvertently created a garden maze. I think this could be a really easy and effective way of keeping moose out of the entire garden without the expense or inconvenience of a year round fence.

by corralling the trees individually I have inadvertently created a garden maze. I think this could be a really easy and effective way of keeping moose out of the garden without the expense or inconvenience of a year round fence.

Last year I basically built a moose and deer obstacle course in the garden. I used everything from mirrors to benches to trellises and then surrounded the whole mess with two fences each made out of electric fencing tape and step in posts. I spaced the two fences three feet apart. According to a book I was reading deer (or moose) do not like having to jump between two fences, so despite the fences only being four feet high, the plan was supposed to work. To make sure I even used a solar powered electric fence charger. We were only a week into winter when a moose and her overgrown twins waded through the fence like it was made out of crepe paper. The only thing about the fence and all those strategically placed obstacles that worked was me in the spring cleaning the whole mess up. Hopefully this year will be different. We will have to wait and see. The moose and deer rarely come through in the summer (except the deer to eat the peas). Oddly enough I have sort of missed them. A part of me is actually looking forward to seeing them in the yard again on a regular basis. But I really hope my fence panels do the trick. It would have been a whole lot easier (and smarter) to just plant the trees down in the fenced orchard with the others but that isn’t where I wanted them. Such is gardening!

Some deer passing through the side garden last winter...

Some deer passing through the fire pit area last winter…

Rhubarb to Roses Has Trees On Sale Now!

Just received this message from Rhubarb to Roses so am passing it on in case you are looking for a few bargain trees for last minute planting before the snow flies…


Greetings from Rhubarb to Roses!

It’s hard to believe we are wrapping up our 4th season!  We want to take a minute to thank everyone for visiting us this spring/summer/fall!  We had a fun and successful gardening season.

Thanks to everyone who bought stained glass art and mosaic birdhouses.  We’re already in the basement working with stained glass as the weather turns drizzly.  We’re getting ready to take some stained glass to the Bonanza Christmas Craft Show on October 26th.  Hope to see you there.

Thanks to everyone who promoted and bought copies of “The ABC Musical Garden”.  We’re over 500 copies sold and now we’re gearing up for Christmas sales.  Dale & I are going on a little road trip to sell books further afield and are pretty excited about that!

ABC Musical Garden

Thanks to everyone who supported us by buying our Watkins products.  If you need any Watkins products during the winter months, or any of our products for that matter, just give us a call at 250-782-2269 and we can make arrangements to get together.

Thanks to everyone who booked tea parties and rented the tea room this season for special occasions.  We absolutely love sharing your special moments with you.  We enjoyed the garden workshops and are planning to do a few more during the winter months.

Thanks to everyone who came out on the Tour & Tea, with a special thanks to the Dawson Creek Horticulture Club for inviting us to show our gardens.  It was a great day, despite the cloudy weather.

And finally, a special Big Thank You to our Garden Centre customers who bought trees, shrubs, roses & perennials.  We don’t have much stock left at this time of year but if you’re looking for some last minute bargains, this is the final week before we put the plants to bed for the winter.  We have lilacs, cherries, raspberries, mockorange, junipers, hardy roses, plums, chokecherries, spiriea, dogwood, cotoneaster… and good prices.  Fall is a great time to be planting and this gentle rain makes it oh so easy!!

Also, we are still selling potatoes, 10lbs for $5.00 for anyone who is interested.  And farm eggs from Lynn Bedell at $4.50dozen.  They are delicious!

Thank You! Thank You!  For your valued patronage this year.

Dale & Doris Brocke

Rhubarb to Roses Garden Centre

Box 2044 10865 – 225 Road

Dawson Creek, BC V1G 4K8




2013 North Peace Garden Tour 5 of 8 : )

Next up were the picturesque lakeside gardens of Linda & Jay Greenwood. It was here that–horror of garden tour horrors–my battery in my new camera died despite it having a full charge. Of course it was Sunday and we were 50 km from home and it wasn’t just any battery but a very specific rechargeable battery. Arrrghhhh! Fortunately Darcy had his camera and managed to pick up a few shots I missed, but it was a valuable lesson for next year. Bring two batteries. Or a different camera!

Maybe I’ll have a garden like this one day…when pigs fly! Loved this cheerful winged pig perched on the fence.

Another magazine worthy entrance. Just gorgeous…

And look at those perfect window boxes, not to mention the border beds and vines.

The calm before the storm…me catching a shot of Darcy making his way down to the backyard unaware my camera was about to die.


Linda I presume, working in her gorgeous garden. Can you imagine a landscape like that? I wouldn’t know what to do first, look at the flowers or look at the lake. Who am I kidding? I’d look at the flowers. THEN I’d look at the lake.


This was my last shot before my camera closed up and died. I will add some more shots from Darcy’s camera as soon as I manage to transfer them. In the meantime I leave you with these beautiful delphiniums filtering the lake view beyond…

to be continued…