NPHS 2014 Garden Tour

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Yesterday was an inspiring and overwhelming day.

I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that NPHS stands for the Neil Patrick Harris Society, but alas, it does not. It stands for the North Peace Horticultural Society and they sponsored a garden tour of 7 rural properties and 1 town property in the surrounding area of BC where we live. What an absolute blessing it was to actually witness what hard working people like Clay and I can accomplish in 10-20-30-40-50 years. Many examples of a lifetime of work. Lots and lots of work. Some guy built his own island with a moat. Did I mention it was a little overwhelming?

The experience was grand though and I tried to take a lot of photos and gather as many ideas in my slightly- hung-over- head as possible.

There were great combinations of edibles, perennials, flowers, garden art and overall ideas, ideas, ideas. Many were not my specific taste, but each one held a few key thoughts and applications that I could really get behind.


Nice looking vegetable garden


Lush and green with lots of poppies hidden about


LOVE the idea of a re-purposed window green house


This was the set-up outside an outhouse for guests to use and wash their hands. LOVE LOVE LOVE.


This perennial garden was 30 years in the making


This property had a beautiful, very expansive English country style garden. Not totally my taste but when I saw the clematis climbing the side of the house, I realized that my dream of something similar really could come true. Even if I live in the north!


This little bench caught my eye, not only because it’s my style but because it just was. No flowers, no frill, just plopped in a quiet corner of overgrown grass… which I just so happen to have an abundant amount of

The two gardens that I enjoyed the most were a rural property owned by a couple who were closest to Clay and I’s ages and the town property that, gasp, actually incorporated some permaculture ideals and practices. It does exist around these parts!

The younger couple had only been on their property for 10 years, but it really spoke to my heart and sense of projects. They even had a small corral in the back where two young girls were riding their pony. Kind of seemed like something our property would have in 10 years.

She had a water feature in the front yard with many random perennial beds scattered throughout, a gorgeous shade garden in the front of the house, a charming greenhouse with a wood stove and a veggie garden to die for. I quickly made a note to myself to try and become friends with her… but covertly enough that she didn’t think I was psycho. More “oh look, we have similar interests” rather than “oh look, I was just driving by your house again”.


The owner told me that she never minded weeding and working around the water feature because it was such a zen place to spend time.


Love the wooden rain barrel paired with some lovely hops


Her charming greenhouse


The wood stove inside the greenhouse… Yes, I could spend some time in a place like this


Her veggie garden of delight

The second property was a regular house in an older part of town where this guy and his partner had created a permaculture-esque paradise in his back yard. I didn’t get a lot of photos here because I was busy talking and inquiring. All of his bushes and trees had an edible component, he had built plant guilds and a food forest that incorporated some showy flowers because he liked the added color and textures. His tiny greenhouse was loaded with an abundance of ripening tomatoes and he even had a fig tree…. a fig tree. The fire pit only had two chairs, but I figured that I could bring my own when we also became best friends. They seemed like the type of people who just loved to wear fabulous shoes and drink wine in the garden, yes please.


The adorable greenhouse surrounded by food


More veggies and a very lonely looking fire pit

Anyway, all in all a great day! I returned home hot and tired and immediately judged my non-existent gorgeous garden, but reveled in the fact that maybe, just maybe someday our house would be on the garden tour and young inspired gardeners would be plotting to become friends with me. Smiling, I sat down in the yard and quietly watched the littles and Beatrix free range in our overgrown grass.


What what, chicken butts


7 thoughts on “NPHS 2014 Garden Tour

  1. Hey, Katy I look at my e-mail waiting for your Canadian Acres and it sure is worth it . You do such a great job, well anxiously wait for the next one ..Love Aunt Judy

    • One place had electric fencing around the entire property, but most didn’t really have mucch for fencing. I would like to have seen more examples since we deal with deer and elk here.

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