Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Green and Brown-two colours I love. After a quick troll through flickr commons I found Beautiful photos showcasing green are abundant. My husband, garden labourer extraordinaire, is also a good photographer and he has many beautiful photos that are green. Brown is harder to find. Now I have a mission.

This isn't the best photo-the colours are a little faded.

We've reached the rainy season here on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. My poor garden, which was all torn up for our home renovation two years ago is still somewhat of a mud field, especially at the front. My husband worked really hard to put in our underground sprinkler system and we decided that the upheaval was an opportunity for some re-landscaping. He successfully moved a thirty year old Japanese maple tree and reshaped the mixed borders. I wanted our sloping front garden to have a terraced island bed so he created that too. My lovely husband does the hard labour and I spend the money on plants and decide where they go.

I am constantly battling deer in the garden since we are not fenced. We have two driveways and would have to put gates on them. The main drive is sloped and not suited to swinging gates. There are too many large plants in the way to install sliding ones. Deer have been known to jump an eight foot fence quite easily so it still isn't a guarantee. Oh what to do! The deer are so safe from natural predators here in my hometown that they are multiplying into a large and healthy population. They have even learned how to cross the street at cross walks. I won't be at all surprised the day I see them pushing the button to get a green light. While working on this front garden project, my husband was sometimes kept company by a healthy young buck who would show up for a nap and a snack. While it napped, my husband left it alone but when it began to snack on my plants he tried to shoo it away. It blissfully ignored him so my husband then began to tap it on the backside with his spade. The deer moved slowly, requiring much backside tapping and shooing to get it out of the garden. It returned the next day, of course.

So, here we are in the rainy season and I gaze out the window at the plants and the mud, looking forward to the grass that will go in next spring. There won't be much of it because the garden is designed as grass paths winding around the mixed borders. I like the way green grass compliments the plantings, giving a cooler feel in the heat of summer and a lush abundance to our wet winters. With grey skies for at least five months of the year, I am grateful for the rich greens that surround me. Grass, conifers and broadleaved evergreen shrubs, as well as the few flowers that continue to bloom, all give me the colour I crave. It's a good thing I like the colour brown, because this year I have an abundance of it.

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