It’s a truly special time of year at our studio, and not just because it’s such a pleasant time to work there once the cold and dark winter months are past, but because everything outside the studio also calls us. The garden and our amazing property provide ample inspiration, and not just a little bit of labor to our days–so thank goodness those are also a little longer as we head toward summer.
We have such an amazing yard, it simply bursts forth with life during the spring season. Trees and shrubs bloom magnificently, each year showing us their will to survive and grow. This past year saw us losing a few trees on this 3-acre patch of heaven on the outskirts of the town of Ladysmith on Vancouver Island. Like the rest of Canada, our season started much later than usual. We clearly didn’t get the massive amounts of snow that have continued to plague some parts of the country right into this usually lovely month of May, but we saw some truly chilly weather and suffered a few major wind storms. One of those trees nearly ended our wonderful Gunnera’s life. It’s coming back, but it’s so much smaller than the giant we’ve seen in previous years. It’s all coming back–a little later than usual, but more magnificent than ever.
All in all, our garden (with its quiet restful spots, its park-like areas, its rustic places and even its little memorial garden, and the tiny pond) provides us with wonder and inspiration. It suits our pottery and some of the sculpture that comes from what we see. It takes its character from this temperate coastal climate and from the ample rains of autumn and winter. It feeds birds and deer (and even some of the dreaded rabbits) and fills us with joy. Our garden is a home for wildlife and we hear the eagles kiri-ing overhead, or sometimes the raven with its amazing koo-koo-koo-koo (so lovely and different from the squawking of black birds). The hummingbirds visit the shrubs and the feeders. The raspberry finches and the quail add more to this natural beauty–yes and of course there are bees buzzing and butterflies fluttery by.
Spring is truly a magnificent time of year here, and our garden is to be celebrated. We’ve joined with some other artists in this area between Ladysmith and Chemainus just so that we can share the beauty. From June 1 to September 14 we’ll be willing to let visitors wander through not just our studios and galleries, but our gardens. So come out to the Ladysmith and District Art and Garden Tour--it’s a self-guided event–and enjoy and share in our inspiration here in the Warm Lands of Vancouver Island.