Deborah Bruser loves to spend time in her Oak Bay garden oasis.
“It’s very, very calming, and I love the therapeutic nature of digging in the garden,” Deborah explains.
“At first, to me it seemed like housework outside, but it isn’t really. It’s very different. I’m a person who likes to do things quickly, but it’s not possible in a garden.”
Digging in the dirt, and slowing down with Poppy the cat supervising, the small space has truly been transformed since Deborah and her husband moved to Victoria in 2017.
“Since we’d been blessed with a builder’s lot — a lawn front and back — we had it dug up, we amended the soil, and added many native plants,” she says, pointing out the camas and oak trees they planted to create a Garry Oak meadow ecosystem.
“It’s vanishing nature, it is in danger, and we thought, ‘Oh, we can do our part in increasing its longevity and helping to extend it,’ and we had so much fun doing so,” Deborah says.
Bursting with blooms, it’s now a hybrid garden with lots of colourful non-native plants as well, and it’s one of the stops on the 18th annual Victoria Hospice Teeny Tiny Garden Tour on June 11.
“We’re thrilled to have 13 Gardens this year,” says Debbie Greenway of Victoria Hospice. “And we are so grateful for our garden owners, and they opened the gardens for the day and everybody gets to come through.”
The event is an important fundraiser for Victoria Hospice, which offers compassionate end-of-life care.
“Almost 50 per cent of the operating costs for Victoria Hospice are covered by community donations and donors, so it’s very important for fundraisers like a teeny tiny garden to happen,” Debbie explains. “We couldn’t do some of the things that we did without the support of our community.”
Deborah’s volunteered for Victoria Hospice since moving to Victoria, both on the floor and in other roles.
“I’ve seen first-hand the compassionate care they offer at end of life and as one ages and confronts one’s own mortality, it’s been a growth experience for me,” Deborah says.
Seeing her beautiful and always changing garden as a metaphor for life, Deborah can’t wait to share this special spot.
“I just love looking out at all the beauty,” she says. “I love how peaceful it is. I love that you can take a 5,000-square-foot lot and turn it into an oasis.”