Today we’re visiting with Kiah Grant.
I was born and raised in North Vancouver, Canada, but after some intense real estate development, we decided to sell our home in December 2016 and move to a slower pace on Bowen Island, which is a small island 20 minutes by ferry from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver.
The home was an old-timer cottage that dated back to 1920. The previous owner was a master gardener who over the many years of ownership had turned the cliffside property into a terraced garden. She even trucked in several loads of soil to create a level yard on the front slope of the steep property. She had aged in place, and in more recent years the garden had minimal attention, but the bones were there.
When we purchased the home we replaced the septic tank and field and added a 400-square-foot addition to the side of the home with a rooftop deck. This allowed us to refresh the yard area, create a new rock terraced garden, and add an 800-square-foot patio overlooking the ocean.
The existing terraced gardens within the fences were the only deer-proofed areas, so we spent a lot of time weeding and amending the soil the first year and waited to see what dormant plants would emerge.
The next year we began to add the things we love, we removed what we did not love, and we also worked on adding to the roadside garden that is open to the deer. On Bowen there are few roadside gardens; it’s mostly evergreen-lined rural roads, so we wanted to do something for the passersby to enjoy. That required trial and error with deer-resistant plants and trees.
Because we have so little garden area, we have also added a lot of planters and pots to the patio for added space.
The rock garden before. Great bones, but a lot of work to be done.
Right side of the rock garden.
Detail of the right side of the rock garden.
Ocean views from the lower yard.
A birdbath surrounded by lush plantings.
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