Yesterday was a delightful day for me.
Jean Jorday took me with her to visit a friend from her Kelowna days, someone whose garden columns we all have enjoyed reading for years. His name is Cyril Hume and he is just as nice as we have known from his writings.
His garden is, as you would expect, beautiful, imaginative, with a path made from magnificent slabs of rock pavers … the kind of path one sees in dreams, leading into a private area at the entrance to a woodland. It was the kind of area that I tried to achieve on my former garden on Melissa Street.
I had a very small area with a slice of wild native trees. There was even a native honey suckle within it. My practical husband wanted to subdivide and sell that piece, but I nearly died of horror at the thought of losing it and he relented. So it remains a bit of natural wild growth within this small city.
I adored it, and made it a sanctuary with a narrow path (well hidden) into its centre where there were several large trees, thick moss, filtered light, bird song … a hidden place. I absolutely loved it!
But like so many lovely things in life, it wasn’t practical, so it had to go.
Fortunately, the property was purchased by a couple who enjoy it, which makes it better, somehow. I think new owner Anni feels about it the way I still do, which helps!
It is such a surprise to find that space still intact. Some little boys discovered it at one time and decided to make a fort in its confines. I was so afraid they would build a fire there that I shooed them away. I have sadly, since then, wondered if they would have respected it as much as I loved it and if I was being mean to send them out of our yard. I just couldn’t take a chance.
My “woods” were such an important part of my being happy there and such a joy to see them now, still thriving, almost downtown.
Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.