On an after-supper walk near our motel in Campbell River, we discovered a gate with a sign; Oyster Bay Plant Works - Open 9 AM. Through the bars, it looked green and inviting. We hurried over right after breakfast the next morning.
Laurie surrounded by beauty.
The gate opened on a wide, bricked path with gardens on both sides; there seemed to be no-one about. Laurie disappeared down a mowed trail to our right, and I dawdled, taking photos of an old Austin in a garden shed. (I love old cars.) Before I was done, the gardener, Linda, had appeared, gloved hands still holding her tools. She was very friendly, and invited me to wander freely around; she would be handy if we needed her. I thanked her and followed Laurie into the shrubbery.
This quadrant is planted mainly in a variety of rhododendrons and azaleas. Flowering season for these was past, but other plants took up the slack. And the green was soothing after the harsh sunlight of the highway. The paths meander, always hiding what lies ahead, but tantalizing us with glimpses of colour.
Magnolia variety. When the light hits it just right, it looks really blue. The underside of the leaves wears a cinnamon fuzz.
Allium. Notice the bulblets at the base of the flowers.
In spite of the shade, the day was heating up already. I was glad when we came upon a small pond, with a bench under overhanging branches. I sat and rested, lazily taking photos from the bench. Laurie, more resistant to heat than I, scrambled around, getting the perfect angle.
Stone turtle, on moss and ground cover.
Back on the main path, we met Linda again. I asked about growing conditions for a pitcher plant that I had discovered by the pool. (More on that in a later post.) She took us under her wing, and gave us a tour of the rest, including the view from the front porch of her house. (Gorgeous!)
Then we went to look for plants for my deep shade garden at home.
The hosta garden. Deep shade. Garden sheds and office in back.
I wanted an epimedium; they retain their beautiful warm colour right through the winter, snow and all. And a hellebore for their early spring flowers. Linda found me both of these, and added a bonus; a small pitcher plant. I also wanted a Spring Snowflake, but try as I might, I couldn't remember the name, nor describe it accurately. Leucojum vernum. Now I've got it memorized, too late.
White lilies, like a flock of butterflies among the rhodos and ferns.
Laurie caught up to me, and we said our goodbyes. At the little office, while Linda toted up my bill, I noticed this tiny delight:
I had a hard time choosing photos; there were too many. Another dozen are in the Flickr Oyster Bay Garden Works set.
And Linda, if you're reading this, the plants made it home, two hot days trip in the car, in perfect condition. I kept them inside the car, with the air conditioning on, and shaded. When we parked, I draped a wet towel over them to keep them cool. They're doing fine in the shade of my garden. Thank you!