Herb Gardens in the great outdoors.

Herb Gardens in the great outdoors.

Building a rudimentary herb garden was one of my first priorities when we moved onto the bluff. Just because I had to cook in an outdoor kitchen, didn’t mean I had to scrimp on flavour.

I started by bringing a couple of pots up to Twin Eagles Bluff from Vancouver. One pot had a very hardy Thyme plant that had flourished over the winter, the second pot was a combination of Rosemary and Summer Savory. This felt like a good start and I bought a little Purple Sage plant at the local garden centre to add to the pot of Thyme. Several of our neighbours are dedicated gardeners, and one donated a Yellow Sage plant to my growing herb garden and another neighbour dropped off a pot with Italian Parsley and Chives. Once I get a pot of Basil growing, I’ll have a reasonable herb garden at my disposal.

I’m not going to try and grow vegetables this year. My focus is clearing up the bank down to the beach and getting plants established in the different zones up and down the ramp (some areas are very exposed to sun, wind and rain, other areas are in shade or protected from the wind). Overall, I’m excited by the challenge. I could turn this into a full time job (which I won’t because I still want to get some more painting done this summer), but the rewards of turning the bluff into a beautiful vertical garden has got me excited. Fortunately, there are plenty of experienced gardeners in the neighbourhood who are happy to share their ideas and suggestions. I’m finding this especially useful when it comes to gardening on the slope of the bluff down to the beach. Our next door neighbour has toured me through her gardens and given me literally years worth of plant, shrub and tree ideas to investigate. It really helps to see what people have done, what works and what is not as likely to succeed.

One constant issue I have to deal with when gardening here is the abundance of deer. The deer are all pretty fearless and are more than happy to poke around in places that they are not welcome. I’ve learned that before buying any plants I need to check on whether it is “deer resistant”. Although they are pretty cheeky, I kind of enjoy the natural ambience that they provide. It really does feel like we are living in a park. Let’s just hope that they don’t acquire a taste for fresh herbs.

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