Last Sunday, I had the grand privilege of being part of the Annual Squamish Gardeners Garden Tour, and open my garden one last time to my friends, neighbours, and family of fellow gardeners. I cannot describe the immense joy at being able to share something that has, to a large part, defined who I am in Squamish with people who not only appreciate the work, the plants, and the compositions, but understand the passion.When we first moved to Squamish 13 years ago, my husband JD and I were excited and daunted by the bare palette of the yard we had purchased. A book of English Herbal Gardens that I received in the hospital inspired me and I dreamed of one day creating a garden that was not only beautiful, but functional and full of healing. When conventional medicines could not help me in my battle with my illness, I turned increasingly to the garden for the answers.
After many years, many failed experiments, many, many dead plants and too many hours of work in the garden, I have managed to make a collection of healing plants not only grow, but thrive in the Sea to Sky climate.
One of my greatest delights is sitting in the garden contemplating the tremendous bounty of plants that have a useful and positive connection with human beings. I love the fact that everything I grow has a useful purpose in life and can be used by we humans to make our lives more comfortable, active, and healthy, something that many people have forgotten.
Highlights from the garden tour in my yard included the large fuzzy-leaved Hydrangea aspera, the beautiful purple-leaved black Cohosh (Cimicumfugia brunette) and the overwhelming free-flowering rambling rose (Rosa excelsia). When asked, however, the most important plants in my garden are those that have stories of other gardeners connected to them; those shared, those given, those 'borrowed'.
It is a most amazing group of gardeners that live in Sea to Sky. I am constantly surprised by bags of goodies left at my gate to be included in the altogether too much mass that makes up my garden. I love the many great conversations I have "Over the fence" with passers-by, and I feel especially worthwhile when someone says I have inspired them with my garden.
In the years we have been here, I have begun to see the community of Squamish as a garden, being slowly cultivated, nurtured, fertilized and grown into the community it is slowly becoming. And it is the personalities that make this community, those sowing the seeds to take this community to the next level.
Now that the Davis family is nearing the end of our tenure in Sea to Sky, I am even more convinced that this place has the best gardening in the world, not because of the soil or the weather or any other factor. It is the people of Sea to Sky that make this a truly great garden. Thanks for enjoying my garden. I know I have and will continue to enjoy all of yours for many years to come. Consider being part of the Squamish Gardeners Garden Tour next year, either as an exhibitor or a guest. You'll see what I mean.