We Moved: The Landing

June 28, 2014 · 7 comments

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.

We Moved-9 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.

We Moved-10 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?

We Moved-11 Take time to meet the neighbors who are kind enough to drop by…

We Moved-13 … 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.

We Moved-14You’ll land in time to watch the fledgling grape vines weave their delicate baby pink leaves across and through the railings of your deck.

We Moved-15It’s a tender, Zone 8/Eden kinda place, where it’s rumored you can chuck seeds off your upper back deck and count on something interesting happening in about three weeks.

(Doesn’t hurt to have Uncle Doug’s Secret Magic Tomato Food to make edible interesting things happen, either.)

We Moved-16Is the dirt really browner in the other planter?

We Moved-17You’ll discover that tender leaf lettuce thrives in the Goldlilocks “not-too-hot, not-too-cold” atmosphere…

We Moved-18… as do enthusiastic buckets of herbs and some volunteer parsley so aggressive I’ve taken to scolding it vigorously AFTER I’ve whacked it back and snipped the florets, just to let it know who’s boss.

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.

We Moved-19Apparently, we aren’t the only ones here who enjoy a nibble on something tender and green from a back yard.

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.

We Moved-23The 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.

We Moved-21Of 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)…

We Moved-24 … followed by an evening ramble out our front door and into the awaiting adventures of an active coastal artisan community soaked in beauty and calm.

Doors close, doors open.

Beverly & Gary Henry July 18, 2014 at 11:29 am

Hi Kathy & Rick! We’re so glad you are getting settled in to your new place. We hope to be able to see you sometime in Comox!

Alyn June 10, 2016 at 7:16 am

This was so helpful and easy! Do you have any artlcies on rehab?

Nancy Fellingham June 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Looks like the Schmidt-Jamisons are about their Father’s business, as usual: beautifying and inspiring wholesome living. Xo

Sandi Fentiman June 28, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Great pics. I wondered what kind of tree that was, with the big white flowers. I’ve recently read that you can eat the flowers from your basil and lavender plants. A lot of edible flowers go in salads. My lavender flowers are in, so I should look up recipes for them. I’ll let you know.

Jane Fentiman June 28, 2014 at 5:09 pm

You make your new garden/home sound & look magical & beautiful. Loved the pics & deer shots.

Jane Fentiman June 28, 2014 at 5:06 pm

You make your life story magical & entertaining. Love the pics & your description of your new garden/deer.

Kristie Pham June 28, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Stunning!! So happy you’ve found another slice of Eden.

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