The Lake Cowichan Garden Committee has really created a wonderful sense of place in the garden. There is a feeling of different ‘rooms’ in this ‘garden home’ that is lovely to experience. All the rooms are open to wander through (no closed doors here), and the garden is getting busier as people adopt areas to tend and boxes to grow vegetables in.
The most organised room is where the vegetables are growing in perfectly aligned wooden raised boxes. There are 12 beds that have all been adopted. The beds are on a gravity fed irrigation system with water lines that run under the soil. There is also a shed for storing the shared tools and even a recycling bin.
In the center of the garden, tucked up against the hill, is the room that feels like a cozy living room area for people to socialize and gather together. The beautifully built pergola offers the feeling of a ceiling and that will one day be ‘an edible ceiling’ – as it will be growing kiwis or grapes. For this year, the pergola is growing beans up the walls. There are benches built into the pergola which make you feel so welcome and encourage some relaxation and time to sit back and enjoy the garden.
The wildest rooms are in the food forest where there are about 17 fruit and nut trees planted with herbs and shrubs being planted in between them. Unlike the other rooms, it is mostly made up of plants, no wooden structures, just earth and plants growing and butterflies visiting. A place to walk through and let whatever catches your fascination hook you in and draw you closer to nature.
We are all so thankful to Island Health as they have extended their funding on this project which will help the garden continue to grow. The Cowichan Green Community will be organizing workshops and work parties in partnership with the Cowichan Lake Community Garden Committee. Through the summer we will also be exploring the potentials for the Cowichan Lake community to experience the therapeutic side of gardening, known as ‘horticultural therapy’. Please stay tuned to our Events Page for updates as to when these activities will occur.