You don’t always get what you pay for, sometimes you get so much more..

In Victoria, being the City of Gardens, many people leave unwanted plants out on their boulevard for other people to have (if all the tomato seeds take and you don’t have room or you are dividing perennials).  Some people even leave extra plastic bags because they know others may not have that with them when they are walking home from work.

Last week, I was driving to pick up my Dad for dinner when I passed this beautiful willow tree with a sign that said: free tree. The conundrum: am I late for my Dad while I try and stuff a tree in my trunk or do I go a little further and risk that it’s still there? Dad and I showed up there a few minutes later. A woman on a bike had stopped, she was trying to think how she could get this home…who could she call with a car…we haggled in typical Canadian fashion which went like this: “no, you take it, you got here first, no, but you really want it..yes, but you were here first.” Another woman stopped in her car..”is this tree still available?…no!”..the owners of the tree were regretting not putting a price tag on it!

In the end, as you can see in the pictures, I became the VERY excited new steward thanks to the kind owners of this tree (which was too big for their front walkway) and the woman on the bike who decided not to take it…it doesn’t look that big…but once we got it home, it was a little too wide to get through my gate (or my neighbour’s – I thought that maybe we could heave it over the fence…) with a little creative pruning and a huge shove – we got it into the garden.

I’m so incredibly thankful to those people who decided to pass this along.

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project: garden comfort


I wanted to show you the results of some pillows I bought at a church garage sale on Friday and then some outdoor fabric (that is supposed to be fade resistant). It was expensive so I only bought two meters (still some more to be used of the small stripe). I bought the burlap ribbon also at the garage sale and doubled it so that you couldn’t see the bright pink underneath. I slanted one pillow to show you that I was using all the fabric but only had enough for one side. 

I chose blue because in the garden I didn’t want a colour that would compete with the stars–my plants!

I am happy with my update- my old cushions were very, very well used and pretty worn out. (they will make a nice dog bed, plus I will re-cover some of them)


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preparing for the Christmas season

We are really in the middle of preparing for the Christmas season. I like to get as many things ready ahead of time as possible so that I can enjoy time with family and friends and not be stressed. Here we are (my buddy- who is always with me) preparing our welcome to visitors at the front door. In this galvanized bucket (that I use for ice and drinks in the summer months), I placed some burlap ( which I’ve used outside for at least 5 winters and it’s still holding up). I put in pots with potting soil and then found twigs from around the garden. I am hoping to come across some other greenery that has fallen to the ground after a wind storm, but until then – here it is. I have attached each of these glass balls to a used chop still and secured it into the arrangement. I think it adds a little subtle sparkle. I’ve also added a few sprigs of rosemary and lavender- and interestingly my first visitor remarked on the scent before the arrangement.

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Beautiful Bohemian Birthday Party

Here are a few pictures from a recent bohemian birthday that I did for a girl who turned 17. She invited her friends to dress up to do pictures in the garden (since they are graduating this year and spreading out all over the globe next year). She invited a henna artist to come and paint her gorgeous designs on her friend’s hands and arms. They had homemade curries and other yummy Indian foods. There was laughter into the evening while they enjoyed rice pudding and hot tea as the sun went down… all the young women felt special and left the party with a two sided framed picture of themselves with the birthday girl and on the other side a picture of the whole group of friends… a wonderful memory of an evening celebrating a true friend.




Adding the fabric above the outdoor deck really transformed the space.

Small white lights, candles in jars and the solar lanterns added a lovely glow as the sun went down.. (sorry those pictures didn’t turn out very well…)