Garden Photo of the Day

The Garden Continues

Finding peace in the garden

densely planted garden with lots of pink flowers

Today we’re visiting with Kim Herdman in Williams Lake, British Columbia. We’ve visited her beautiful garden before (Gardening Through Intense Weather). She’s been going through a difficult time, but her garden has been a source of solace.

man sitting in a chair next to a windowThe last few years have thrown everything at the garden and life. Michael succumbed to his disease in 2022, which left a hole in my heart. He was my gardening partner and another pair of hands to water, or plan, or enjoy the pictures he so loved to take.

dog in a kitchenTo help fill the void of Michael, I have a new soulmate—Hamish! He is keeping busy ensuring that all manner of life force is not in his territory! He has worn a path by the side of the fence chasing deer and is keeping the ever-growing population of rabbits out. He also ensures that this is a no-fly zone for the birds! Definitely takes his job seriously. I have to accept that the garden is not going to be all I want it to be with him in the family.

three raised garden beds surrounded by flowersI was having trouble keeping up with all the yard myself, so I thought that veggie boxes would be helpful. Some kind friends helped build me three boxes, and I think they are really going to be great as I get into the groove of what to plant in them. Every year it gets harder to know what will cope with the conditions. I did find these boxes easier to water and weed last year. I also think if I have to use shade cloth or netting, the boxes will be much less troublesome for me.densely planted garden with lots of flowers and a couple small treesThe winter of 2022/23 was all over condition wise; there was a long fall with no frost, which helped me to get all the bulbs planted, as I was very slo-mo—still in recovery mode from the blood clots of 2021. One day I was planting tulips and the temperature was 20°C, and the next morning I woke up to –15°C. The abrupt change caused the death of my hand-raised maple that was just starting to offer much-needed shade to the hot yard. Also, the apple tree suffered fire blight, which kept coming back even after pruning. So last summer both trees were cut down.

lots of pink and yellow flowers blooming in the gardenThe void of the apple tree is felt, but the area is still full of flowers.

close up of pink and yellow flowers in the gardenEvery year after the extreme temperature fluctuations we think that there is going to be nothing coming up, and every year the garden shows us how resilient life is.

densely planted garden with lots of pink flowersThere are more and more self-seeders that plant themselves merrily everywhere. I am really becoming a fan of the different alliums, which bloom for so long and don’t ask for much (they seem to be very dependable and tough) as well as all the different sedums, which are tough as nails.

close up of large white flowers with an array of flowers behindClimate change and all its effects keep throwing wrenches. The long summer of drought made it necessary to spend lots of time in the garden watering. After the heat dome of 2021, the soil seems like it has been scorched of all its life, so it has been an ongoing challenge to feed it with compost and horse manure and mulch that never seems to be enough.

view of garden from covered porchBut through all the challenges the garden continues to be a source of peace, enjoyment, health, and communion with friends and strangers alike!


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  1. annegad 02/19/2024

    My deepest condolences for the loss of your beloved husband, Kim. Your garden is beautiful, an inspiration and I’m sure a consolation for you with the memories it holds of your gardening partner. As you mention in your article, the effects of rapidly changing conditions are posing new challenges to which we must all adjust.

  2. User avater
    musabasjoosue 02/19/2024

    I'm so very sorry for your loss. Garden making can certainly be a challenge in these days of changing weather patterns. One of the many benefits our gardens can provide though is a place of solace. Enjoy your new soulmate. It sounds like he's keeping you on your toes!

  3. MohawkValley 02/19/2024

    Those gardens are EXACTLY where you belong . I too , have suffered some loses recently and I am trying to find solid ground , no pun intended , again . I won't go into details but the only thing I can think of beyond my recent events is to think about getting out in the gardens again . My first submission to GPOD was about having a respite , a place to go , where thoughts can be managed and channeled ; and a place where others can do the same . I wish you strength , lots of strength , going forward and I will try to accomplish the same here in the Mohawk Valley this season . Peace .

  4. User avater
    simplesue 02/19/2024

    Gardeners are tough cookies, you are proof of that, surviving so many hardships and losses and yet still a gardener with a beautiful garden. You're an inspiration to all of us showing the way through life's inevitable difficult times
    What an impressive amount of beautiful flowers you have in your garden!.

  5. [email protected] 02/19/2024

    Love your dog Amish, he is beautiful! They a handful lol but so much worth it. Life has a way of making us see the amazing stuff through hardship😊. Continue your lovely work in the garden, it looks wonderful😉

  6. User avater
    treasuresmom 02/19/2024

    The garden & Hammish are both beautiful.

  7. janetsydoruk 02/19/2024

    I too send my deep sympathy for your loss. I’m also glad Hamish found a loving home. He loves the garden too. It’s always a challenge with a garden but yours is worth it. Even if you can’t get everything done. That’s ok. It’ll be there when you can.

  8. btucker9675 02/19/2024

    Please accept my sincere sympathy on the loss of Michael - I'm certain that seeing places he touched in your garden are a balm to your soul. Glad that you have Hamish now to be your gardening companion and well as critter deterrent. Your garden is lovely and all of the hard work you've poured into it is evident.

  9. [email protected] 02/19/2024

    Thank you, Kim, for sharing your garden as well as giving me some guidance on how to deal with my recent loss of my best friend and garden buddy/helper/companion husband just a few months ago. Your garden is so full and beautiful!

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