Kings Road Native Plant Garden: an urban restoration project
Corner of Kings Road and Roseberry Avenue, Victoria, BC, Canada
Over a period of four years, Pat Johnston and seven friends from Victoria’s Native Plant Study Group met consistently two hours per week to transform her city lot into a thriving native plant demonstration garden. Although Pat has recently sold the property, it remains a native plant garden and can be viewed from the sidewalk in the Oaklands neighbourhood of Victoria. The project has spawned several other native plant gardens in the region. To begin with, the front yard was home to a rock outcrop, lawn and two Garry oak trees. Over the years, the crew transformed the yard by:
- Removing invasive species such as ivy, periwinkle and holly
- Removing all the lawn
- Exposing the rock outcrop by removing the fill
- Developing a hedgerow, rock garden, two meadows, a woodland area and a water garden
- Installing a passive irrigation system along Kings Road
- Creating a pathway of stones, most of which came from the property
- Planting native plants, about half of which were salvaged from construction sites
- Making a sign and a plexiglas holder for brochures about the garden, Garry oak ecosystems and native plants (approximately 1000 of these brochures were taken over a period of eight years)
- Submitting articles about the garden to magazines: Focus on Women, Wildflower, Naturescape BC
- Reporting on their progress regularly to the Native Plant Study Group
- Conducting tours for schools, Victoria Natural History Society, Native Plant Study Group, and others
Pat is now a native plant gardening consultant and teaches workshops at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary sponsored by CRD Water Services. Find out more about the workshops here or by calling Swan Lake at 250-479-0211.
Here are some ‘before and after’ photos of the project (all photos courtesy of Pat Johnston). To increase the size of images and text, hold the ‘control’ key and use the scroll button.