Not so many years ago I discovered a garden of a
different kind in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. The
setting is a private home on a large corner lot with
the usual house and garage but instead of a lush
planting it is complemented with a dryland garden.
I have talked to the lady of the house on a few
occasions and during this visit I had a chance to talk
with them both. They are a retired couple that like to
stay active and maintain the garden with no outside
assistance. The majority of the work is done by hand.
She's the "gardener", he's the "labour" and they seem
to be very happy with this arrangement.
On this occasion I was heading into Maple Creek from
the Cypress Hills. When I arrived he was hand-digging
weeds out of the small lawn that occupies the boulevard
along the front of the house. His better half soon came
out of the house and we all had a nice chat. I'm always
happy to encourage people with their gardening
endeavors and they know how to take a compliment.
They've done a remarkable job. I could take more than
a few lessons from them when it comes to dryland
In the past few years they've also decided to take on
the gardening at the seniors home next door and a few
years ago the neighbour around the corner adopted
their gardening methods as well. They all know it's
a good thing to hang out with the plants.
Oh, something I forgot to mention...this garden
doesn't get watered expect when it rains. It is a true
dryland garden. It must be more than difficult to resist
the temptation to get out the water hose on those
particularly hot days. These are brave gardeners with
pioneering spirit. Good on them.
You'll drive right past this fine example of dryland
gardening if you're ever travelling through Maple Creek
on your way to or from the Cypress Hills. Stop and
take a look. The people are friendly and the plants are
tough. That's a good combination in my book.
Of special note is their mass planting of prickly pear
cacti of which I've never seen better in any urban garden.
Photographed on June 30, 2017.