for me there is nothing quite as exciting, albeit daunting, as starting from scratch. there is something marvelous looking about a pile of produce, meats, cheeses and whatever else made it into my basket sitting on my counter. i love to let my mind wonder and my mood contemplate dinner. it’s the same for me in an empty room. the minute i set foot in a new space (empty or not) i image its possibilities. i dream of the people that live there sitting at home after a long day or rushing around in the morning, their coffees in hand, trying to squeeze one last moment there before departure.
there is a possibility that i was not prepared for the amount of ‘starting from scratch’ moving back to our townhouse in vancouver after 4 years in toronto would create. aside from the front hedge none of the previous gardens or large planters had survived the years of tenants. our first week here was dedicated to finding the basics: beds to sleep in and somewhere to sit and eat. after that, all i could see was the neglected garden and it depressed me to see empty pots and planter boxes everyday. an empty garden and an empty house – it was an easy decision on which i would tackle first.
despite objections from friends and family, i began the gardens first and started purchasing plants that i could have never considered in my toronto garden; japanese fibre banana, japanese aralia, new zealand flax, red cordyline, giant timbre bamboo and chusan palms. a tropical vision for the garden has begun to take shape.
enlisting m (he is in town) and j in the gardening made the initial planting go smoother than i had anticipated. after everything i have heard about the spread of bamboo i knew that we would need to separate the bamboo from the rest of the planting. while installing the metre deep rhizome barrier was the most difficult of all garden tasks it will hopefully be worth the struggle to keep the bamboo from invading the rest of the planter.
fall planting is all about the longterm gratification. when the first green shoots of bamboo begin to poke their heads up, the banana leaves start to unfurl and the first new palm frond of the year unfolds it will be worth the wait!