Note to anyone planning a move to the Comox Valley and desiring a petal-strewn welcome: plan your adventure touchdown for sometime in the first two weeks of May, and then don’t blink for a month.
Also, it’s a good idea to root yourself into a 30+ year old home. Even if the house itself eagerly awaits a proper decorating refresh, chances are good you’ll inherit an incredible mature perennial garden.
Between you and your neighbors’ yards, you may discover more plants and trees already in bloom than you can identify, and the growing season will barely have begun. And even of the plants you do recognize, you may be surprised to learn there are more than five different kinds of hostas, or that ferns are not the same thing as bracken, or that gorgeous burgundy trilliums grow in BC, but that all do well in the deep shade of a massive hemlock tree.
I didn’t know that. Did you?
… making sure to reserve enough mental energy from the “where does this go?” unpacking game to breathe in the sweet late afternoon ocean air off the back deck. Maybe one of the biggest adventures you’ll discover in your first month will be the raspberry, blueberry, and currant bushes, or the apple, pear, and plum trees waiting for you in your back yard.
If you purchase your property in mid-February, the above may be disguised as ugly, twisty bushy things or gnarly old maids just begging to be hauled away. Life lesson: everyone needs their beauty sleep. Give ‘em a break and avert your eyes in case of mid-winter drool.
(Doesn’t hurt to have Uncle Doug’s Secret Magic Tomato Food to make edible interesting things happen, either.)
At least, I think I’m boss, although I’m pretty sure I can hear it sniggering behind my back the second I walk away. Parsley: punk herbs with spitballs.
Did you know our little Island deer can stand on their hind legs for a full 30-seconds without dancing when practiced and properly motivated? I think the one who frequents our neighbor’s back yard must do yoga several times a week, with a Pilates class on alternating Saturdays thrown in for core strength training.
The early spring lilacs, tulips, and crab apple blossoms are quickly followed by a stunning variety of irises, poke-yer-eye-out poppies, stately foxgloves, voluptuous peonies, and 15 other floral explosions of color and fragrance that I’m sad to say we didn’t identify before they disappeared until next year.
On a more positive note, we now know how to deadhead spent rhododendrons, sticky little buggers that they are.
Of course, as different as some things are from our beloved Zone 3 Teton Valley, many things remain the same, including our love of hand-crafted, wood-fired pizza (stay tuned for more about killer ceramic grill/smoker/pizza oven we scored within 20 minutes of landing)…
Doors close, doors open.