After our visit to the Government House garden, Solara Goldwynn took me on a visit to an amazing inspiring ecohouse, gardens and perennials nursery in the Highlands area just outside of the city of Victoria (BC) where she and husband Tayler were living in a flat with owners Ann and Gord Baird
You can read much more about Ann and Gord on their web site at https://eco-sense.ca
The location of Ecosense north west of Victoria on southernmost Vancouver Island!
Zoom in to the plot, the gardens and house surrounded by forest. The nursery is around the pond seen at the top.
About the house from the Eco-sense website: “Our home achieves these objectives by incorporating sustainability and research with solar PV agrid intertie, solar thermal heating, rain water harvesting from a living roof, composting toilet, grey water re-use, passive solar design, and all within North America’s first code approved seismically engineered load bearing insulated cob residence”.
Late March is still early spring, but here is clearly a diversity garden
Perennial kale. Daubenton?
Allium cernuum, native nodding onion
Cultivated dandelion :)
Victoria has a mild warm and dry in summer climate
Solara showed me around the gardens
Earth chestnut (unsure if this is the real thing Bunium bulbocastanum, often mixed up with Oenanthe pimpinelloides in the trade).
A dandelion spiral?
In the woods I found this plant that I also saw just coming into flower in the harbour area. Pacific sanicle (Sanicula crassicaulis) is a much bigger plant than European S. europaea, reaching over 1m. Some west coast Sanicula species such as S. graveolens and S. bipinnatifida were used as spring vegetables, but I only find medicinal uses of this species.
Claytonia in flower was a common edible of woodlands – I hadn’t thought of this plant before as a shade lover…now I know :)
Erythronium and Dodecatheon in the woods
…and Hablitzia tamnoides had preceded me :)
Hablitzia bed :)
Fuki (Petasites japonica) naturalising by the pond
..and fuki for sale
A “Food security top pick”, perennial leek (Elephant garlic, I think)
Sea buckthorn (Hippophae)
Good? King Henry!
Wild ginger (Asarum)
European and Asian plums
A single fawnlily was in flower
Sedum spathulifolium? in the woods
More forest dwelling Claytonia perfoliata (miner’s lettuce)
An early flowering Ranunculus spp.
…and for my last evening on Vancouver Island I was invited to a great potluck dinner at Eco-sense with Solara and Tayler (picture), the Bairds and friends. Thanks folks!