October 2022

Page 48


Fibre: A Beginner’s Mind

Trees for a Small Garden Bernie Dinter, Dinter Nursery. Family owned and operated since 1973

W Trees suitable for a small garden

• Japanese Maples - large selection of colours and textures • Dogwoods - Hybrids, Eastern and Chinese varieties • Maples - Paperbark and Vine (Native) • Magnolia - Compact Star varieties • Crabapples -Colourful flowers and fruit • Japanese Snowbell • Weeping forms of Cherry, Birch and other species • Dwarf and Columnar Apple Trees and more ..... Fall Hours: Weekdays: 8:30 to 5:30 Weekends and holidays: 9 to 5 Serving local gardeners since 1973

www.dinternursery.ca 250 748-2023

5km South of Duncan on Hwy 1


ith the decreasing size of properties, gardens are becoming smaller and the size of plants must be scaled down. More thought must be given to the selection of plants. Functions to consider include creating privacy, shade, seasonal colour, texture, edible food, attracting wildlife and creating a restful space. When selecting trees, look at their ultimate size. Pruning can control size but should not destroy the trees natural form. Dwarf trees mature in the 8 ft. range with small trees growing into the 15 ft. range. Trees do not stop growing, so when selecting for size, look at what height they will reach in a 15 to 20 year time span, rather than their ultimate size when fully nature. Characteristics for selecting trees include flowers, form and structure, leaf colour and texture, fall colour, fruit and finally winter form and bark. Some trees are well suited for training and can be held to very precise sizes and shapes. This adds a maintenance component that you must be willing master. The most popular trees for

small gardens include Japanese Maples, Dogwoods, Hawthorne, Japanese Snowbell and Sumac. For more control of the tree size, nurseries will top graft onto a compatible trunk, weeping branches or a compact form of the species. Another nursery technique is to take a vigorous shrub that is trained with a single trunk and pinched at the desired height to create a bushy top. This is labeled as a standard form and commonly done with PG Hydrangeas, Portuguese Laurel, and Wisteria. For the edible garden, dwarf and semi-dwarf forms of apple and cherry are available. Any variety can be selected, as the rootstock determines the tree size. With knowledgeable plant selection, a beautiful and healthy garden can be created in any size of space.


h no, I can’t. That’s too hard.”

As visitors walked by our weaving demonstration at the Cobble Hill Fair, I cringed in rueful identification. Trying something new pushes our identity in uncomfortable ways. I walked through the same discomfort when I began learning to weave. Early in the pandemic, my daughter’s fibre arts teacher offered me a loom so that I could realize my magical fabric-making dreams. Even though I’d wanted to learn for years, resistance kicked in. Was it self-indulgent to take up an intensive new hobby with a sizeable piece of equipment? After wrestling with this question, I now believe that everyone deserves the time and support to pursue what we’re drawn to. The dishes really can wait. Learning a new skill has shown me the gifts of being a beginner. To wit: 1. You’ll get it wrong. Letting go of the need to be right and successful is the first gift. If something is new, you’ll get it wrong, at least sometimes. Because of this, 2. You’ll need help. Other people—experts and other beginners—will teach you. You might resist asking for help, but: 3. People want to help to share