Saturday, June 11, 2011
I spent yesterday afternoon in the company of delightful friends in Fiddletown. I had not been to Kit's aunt Tinka and uncle Bill's place before and taking the back roads over the hills (who am I kidding...there's nothing but back roads up here!) took some concentration. What with the flurry of greetings and then a hearty lunch, I hadn't really had a chance to take in my surroundings. And then we strolled the property, accompanied by Jackie, Tinka's side-kick dog, and Frank and Mildred, her cats. (Frank seems to be a popular name for cats up here.) I have been to Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C., Canada, a gardener's paradise. On a smaller scale, Tinka and Bill's gardens are just as glorious and I was in heaven. Their gardens are exactly what I'd envisioned here...and don't have. Just as I envied my friend in Mt. Aukum his barn, I covet Tinka's gardens. Admittedly, it has taken nearly forty years to achieve her dream, with flowers of every shape, size, and color, interspersed with table grapes and vegetables. It goes without saying that they have deer fencing. Bill has constructed fanciful arbors from rebar steel for climbing roses and clematis. Struggling here as I do to keep anything growing and trying to find the least palatable plants for deer, I have a deep appreciation for the time and effort it takes on a daily basis to keep a garden as perfect as theirs. Kit, Tinka and I sat chatting in dappled sunshine out on the patio Bill constructed of kiln bricks and I was shown pictures of how the property looked when they first came to Fiddletown...ramshackle, falling-down buildings and trash-covered grounds. Their lovely home was converted from a bee barn where honey was processed. Not a blade of grass (yes, they have a lawn), not a flower in sight. Tinka sent me home with a box of Lady's Mantle plantings. Perhaps there's hope for me yet. I'm still jealous.