In the Garden column: Despite housing costs, art blooms in the garden

A recent article in the Financial Post section of the Vancouver Sun identified a current trend in the market ­— housing gridlock.

Because of unreasonably high prices most of us are unable to move up the real estate ladder. The only move we can make is to renovate our current living space to get a better home.

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Because we are staying put, we are focusing more on our quality of life where we live today, rather than making money on our house.

Besides renovating our interior spaces, we are also renovating our landscaping, which does not increase the value of your property, but it does increase our pleasure of the space where you live.

Many of our Richmond Garden Club members are artists in the garden. Every year, our members tour five of our fellow member’s gardens. Most of the members have lived in their homes for many years.

Each garden is so different, taking on the personalities of each family. Most of these gardens contain similar elements such as patios, decks and water features. Their gardens are choc-a-bloc full of delightful brightly coloured and unusual artistic pieces. Of course, lush plantings fall gracefully over these enchanting works of art.

For the family, opening their gardens for all to see can be intimidating. For us on the tour, it is a day of inspiration, delight and camaraderie.  We all know how much elbow grease has gone into creating a vision of perfection — weed-free, flowers deadheaded and staked and lawns trimmed to golf green standards — all so we can experience the joy of their outdoor living space.

At every house we visit, the cozy patio settings and soothing gardens call us to sit down and stay awhile. It is hard to move on to visit the other gardens, but it happens at each one.

The art pieces in each garden contain treasures that mean something only to the family. There are memorials to loved one’s; tributes to talented family members; antiques from ancestors; hand-crafted bird houses; yoga retreats.

For example, the garden of a jazz musician contains witty metal-crafted jazz musicians tucked under some vines, wrought iron music notes and tubas scattered along fences and posts throughout the space.  Those gardeners lucky enough to have large properties can incorporate some major pieces. One of our members lost her brother who was in the logging business. She and her husband used some of his old saws and blades to create a memorial wall to honour the memory of her brother.

The couple were also very lucky to be in just the “right spot at the right time” to pick up an etched glass wall that was on display at Expo 86.

We have a giant pumpkin contest winner in our club.  His garden was on our tour this year, so we were delighted to see his “operation” to grow these magnificent 1,000 pound-plus pumpkins.  

So, take time to really live in your outdoor space. Showcase your passion or  your heritage in amongst your plants. It will be hard for you to leave your beautiful home.

Lynda Pasacreta is the current president of the Richmond Garden Club. For more pictures on the garden tours or to get more information on the Club visit

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