Welcome to Tara Warne’s Salt Spring Island garden!

A day of beautiful and delicious discovers in a Salt Spring Island garden.

Credit: Sharon Hanna

A photo tour of beautiful discoveries in a Salt Spring Island garden

Welcome to Tara Warne’s garden! Tara works for GardenWise, and invited me to come visit her place on Salt Spring Island in August of 2009. I finally got the chance to visit this summer (better late than never!), bringing with me a former student from Japan named Chiaki—who had the time of her life!

Tara’s father took Chiaki out for a ride (a bumpy one!) in his beautiful restored Morgan too.

Check out the photo on the left. This is really a neat thing to do with clay pots and succulents—you can see the watermelon vines at the bottom on the right (yes, they grew melons). They also grew the biggest beets I’ve ever seen, without thinning them—beginner’s luck I say.

Since Bernie, Tara’s partner, isn’t fond of beets, the rest of us were in luck. We had them for one of our meals with fresh-caught crabs and garlic butter. Yum.

This is Chiaki, with my garden veggies before we went to Salt Spring. That large lumpy-looking tomato—a ‘Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter’—was big enough for four tomato sandwiches the next day.

Whimsical arrangement of Sempervivum and Sedum with Buddha.

More whimsy on the path—when the candles were lit it was like fairyland, much to the delight of Chiaki.

My favourite: a barnacle-covered oyster shell with Sempervivum (aka “hens and chicks”)—a great idea for new gardeners, or time-challenged ones. These plants require little care and not much soil either, and can grow almost anywhere in full to part sun.

One of the little water features, this one with carnivorous Sarracenia (pitcher plant), Corydalis tucked in, and mophead hydrangeas from the garden, were added for this special occasion!

This is Tara and Bernie’s “living stool” of sphagnum. Note the huge turnips from the garden (beginner’s luck, I tell you!), which we enjoyed with butter and lemon juice.