I had the opportunity to visit the Mike and Jo Priestley garden in Mission last weekend. It’s definitely a garden that really shows who lives there. I love gardens with character. This garden was described as an English style garden in a Canadian setting. As we approached the entrance to the home we entered a long driveway flanked by old growth trees and native ferns. The gravel drive was just wide enough for one car and dipped off on each side making me wonder how easy it was to navigate in the winter.
The home was built many years ago after having to blast large boulders out to add the foundation. Those boulders were later used to create the garden at the back of the home. This garden is filled with lavender started from seed by Jo. All the garden is lovingly hand watered which became a huge task during our hot summer.
Despite the heat, flowers filled the gardens. Japanese Anemone, Delphinium and Sedums attracted bees to the garden and filled it with colour.
This garden gate adds character to the vegetable garden in behind. When I asked her if the fence was to keep the deer out, Jo replied that bears were the problem. I quickly looked around after that comment.
You can tell an artist lives in this garden from the four-leaf clover carved in the gate to the pottery displayed in the garden. Jo Priestley is a well-known potter. We were able to take a peek in her studio to see her work. It’s amazing!
Grapes clamber over this arbor creating a bit of shade when needed. This garden gets the full sun so this is a nice retreat.
We were welcomed to the sundeck to sit and rest. Upon tables teapots were filled with Sempervivum ‘Cobweb’.
The succulents in this tall vase look like jewelry around its neck.
Garden art is everywhere in the garden. I love how this tractor seat looks like its been here forever.
Rustic bird houses show us the way to the garden.
The tool shed tells the story of years gone by, tools no longer used but turned into art. I think in a past life I was a junk collector as I loved this shed. It’s not for everyone unless you can see the vision. For me, it told me about the people who live here.
Stumps from fallen trees with heavy chains over them left me wondering if the chain was once used to move the tree that stood here one day. I think I am in love with rust.
Jo walked us to her secret garden by the front door. The garden cannot be seen until you are right in it. A water feature sits below a huge Pieris japonica or lily of the valley shrub. In this garden the shrubs were so tall you could almost stand underneath them.
Jo places her pottery seconds around the garden. These globes look like representations of earth to me. What do you think?
Jo’s studio is in the second floor of this building. It was when I saw this building that memories of Bella Madrona came to mind. An old saddle clings to the wall with an assortment of plates, tools and bottles. Memories of days gone by linger here.
As we left the garden this collection of birdhouses would delight the grandchildren as its near a play area. This is definitely a place where the whole family likes to come. Hills beckon children to roll down them and secret gardens need exploring.
The soothing nature of the water feature draws you in to relax and take a moment to reflect. The anchor so perfect for this area of the garden.
The best part of the garden is the location. Who could ask for a better view?