Category Archives: Garden Ponds

A garden pond is a water feature constructed in a garden or designed landscape, normally for aesthetic purposes and/or to provide wildlife habitat. Garden ponds can be excellent wildlife habitats, and can make a contribution to the protection of freshwater wildlife[1] Invertebrate animals such as dragonflies and water beetles, and amphibians can colonise new ponds quickly.

Island Garden Scapes-a family business!

To all of our clients…thank you for giving us the opportunity to show you what we can do for you!  Cheers!

Call us for all your lawn and landscape needs… thank you from Tim, Trevor, Mike, Miss Ryla, Kathleen and baby Ashlyn.

Putting a Garden in Order

Yes, it is another garden clean up.  One that was intense but so satisfying.  Thank you Pinky for hiring Island Garden Scapes.  We were tired when it was finished but so happy with the end result.  Spring has sprung !  It is a very busy season already.  The fence is lined with beautiful flowering spring forsythia so we were careful not to cut all of the buds as it is just starting to flower.  Below the forsythia, there are dozens and dozens of spring bulbs that were just waiting for a chance at some sunshine and rain so they too could flower.  near the back of the house is a beautiful Japanese maple tree which shades a small pond.  So we trimmed the tree, a very small trim…just enough to stimulate its growth and we cleaned out the pond, which you could not see prior to the clean up.  Now it is a beautiful outdoor space.







Being a Landscape Gardener!


A diamond in the rough-clean up continues

Well we are now into several months of clean up and re-design on this diamond in the rough.  It is a big project and is turning out beautiful!  We work away part-time at it when the weather permits!  Fall rains arrived in October so it is a matter of working around the weather now.  We recently tackled the back path area and are very happy with the results.  The back garden area is planted with a cultivated broom and had been overgrown for years.  We did have to take out a few of the broom plants that were dead but the rest has shaped up very nicely!

back-path-before back-gardens-before


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A Diamond in the rough!

I took on this garden clean up in Saltair BC in July 2016.  It is an ongoing job and is really shaping up nicely.  When first I walked through this garden I realized its potential.  I did not create this garden…it is 5 years old.  I am blessed to work in such a beautiful place with so much potential.  It is definitely a diamond in the rough!  Everything was overgrown and needed pruning and trimming.  Many of the ornamental grasses needed to be divided and moved.  I am so happy with the progress so far and so are the garden owners!



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Creating a Pond – Update

I started creating this new garden 2 seasons ago and highlighted it in a previous post on Island Garden Scapes website.  The pond progress is coming along quite nicely.  It is a large project with 2 ponds…one draining into the other via a small stream.  The pond liner was purchased at Dinter’s Nursery and the pump purchased in Victoria.  The first pond is now complete and the 2nd is a work in progress.  The pump will not be installed until the 2nd pond is complete and the stream bed finished.

The liner is actually a two part job.  There is a cushioned liner laid over the bottom and then the actual liner is laid on top of this.  This two part insert is to protect the liner from any upheaval of rocks coming through the liner and causing leakage.  Once the liner was laid then stones were laid around the pond to hold the liner in place and to enhance the pond/s beauty.  The natural stonework around the pond was created from stones on the property.  Laying the stones was similar to a jigsaw puzzle fitting the stones together so they would lay flat.  One side of the pond’s stones has cement between them to ensure they are stable.  The garden owner wanted to be able to walk between the ponds so adding cement stabilizes the walkway.

It is definitely a work in progress.  It is coming together beautifully and I am so excited to see this project completed!

See you in the garden or the garden centre! 🙂Franks Garden 031…in the beginning!

IMAG0731 800x452…;ast summer

pond update 2 pond update…this summer

Preparing a Million Dollar Property For Sale

I have worked for these garden owners for two seasons now.  And although I did not design or create these gardens, I am truly blessed to work for such lovely people in such beautiful gardens.  The property backs on to Quennell Lake  and has stunning views throughout the property which is a large acreage.  The owners themselves designed and created this park like setting with a dry river bed running across the property complete with a bridge and a large fish pond at the back of the house complete with palm trees!

All of the shrubs, trees and gardens needed to be tended.  This included weeding, feeding, pruning, trimming and general clean up throughout.  What a wonderful project!

Back yard hedge beforeBefore & After back yard hedge after 1

tree before  Before & Afterback yard after 4

tree and shrubs beforeBefore & Afterback yard hedge after

trees and shrubs beforeBefore & Afterback yard tree after pruning


backyard after pruning tree and shrubs after



Re-Planting a Palm Tree

After planting a windmill ( Trachycarpus fortunei) palm tree in a new garden design last year, a new home was built next door.  The new home now blocks the sun for the better part of the day limiting the sunlight hours for the palm tree.  Although it was very happy in its location, the minimal sunlight hours would change that.  The palm tree had to be relocated to a sunny part of the yard where it will get at least 8  hours of sunlight, have protection from the North and West wind and maintain a minimum temperature of -15C or higher.  Which isn’t a problem here on Vancouver Island where the temperature rarely drops below -5C.

Ladysmith British Columbia is in a micro climate, which means we have slightly warmer weather then the basic hardiness zone map shows which for us is zone 8.    Soil, moisture, humidity, heat, wind, and other conditions also affect the viability of individual plants from one area to another.  It is important that your plants can thrive year-round, surviving extreme temperatures.  Often you will find that your own gardens are slightly different then the basic hardiness zone map.  The location of your property, buildings and even trees on your property will change the demographics of what you can grow.  For a list of hardiest palms to grow research this link.   

Island Garden Scapes purchased this windmill palm from Island Passion’s nursery.

How to plant:

Dig the hole twice as wide and one and a half times as big as the root mass.  Work in several shovelfuls of organic matter (peat moss and/or manure) and bone meal and ensure there is loose soil at the bottom to allow for easy root growth.  After planting, pack the soil firmly to avoid air pockets and water well.

Where to Plant:

Choose any part of your garden in a sunny location.  In cooler winter locations such as at the higher elevations avoid a windy exposure.  Absolutely never plant this palm close to the house if you have an overhang because the plant can reach 30 feet.


Neutral to slightly acidic (which is typical in this area).  Although these palms tolerate our high rainfall they will thrive in well draining soil.  The garden where I planted this palm is comprised of mostly clay soil, so I dug the hole 3 X as deep as the palm required, broke up the soil with a steel bar and added a wheel barrow of sand and small pebbles for added drainage.  Then I added a layer of mulch in the bottom about 4 inches deep.  Bone meal and peat moss are also great to help your palm perform better.

Watering and Fertilizing:

Watering frequently during dry spells is crucial especially when newly planted.  Fertilizing is necessary for lush palms.  Any one of these three different methods will get you good results:

1.)  A 6 or 9 month slow release, high nitrogen fertilizer (like osmocote) applied once during the growing season.

2.)  Water soluble 20-20-20 and fish fertilizer mixed according to package directions and watered in every 10 days to 2 weeks.

3.)  A slow release granular fertilizer designed for evergreens applied every two months during the growing season form April to November.

Winter Protection:

In ideal conditions, those close to the moderating influences of the ocean, protection is usually not necessary except for a good ground mulch.  If your palm is in one of the more cold sensitive palms,  a burlap wrapping of the top 18” of the trunk and the newly emerging spear should suffice.  The younger the palm the more protection it should have.

Other hardy palms that are worthy of experimenting with are European Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis), Wine Palm (Jubaea chilensis), Pindo Palm (Butia capitata), Date Palm (Pheonix canariensis) and the Mexican Fan Palm (Washingtonia robusta).

Original Location of the Palm:

Palm Tree original location 1Original Palm 2

Franks Garden 026Original location  Original location of palm   Original location of palm tree

New Location of Palm:  The palm tree was moved to sit adjacent to the top pond.  There will be two ponds on the sloping property at the bottom of the original palm location.  The new location will provide the garden owner with a better view of the palm from his balcony and his window views.

Tools Tools requiredTools used to lift &  re-plant the palm. palm tree palm tree root ball palm tree roots

new locatinn palm

I added several inches of mulch on top of the palm and will also add about 4 to 6 inches of wood chips once the plant and soil have settled in their new location.  This will ensure that the plant roots are protected from extreme temperature changes, will hold the moisture and will provide a compost tea to feed the plant every time it rains or is watered.


A Gardener’s Paradise…cleaning a pond and water fall

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Pond Cleanuppond garden 3

Before clean up


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After Clean up!


I often call myself the extreme landscaper.  I love taking on BIG landscape or garden clean up jobs!  Not only because I love the challenge but because I am a visual person and love the garden restoration after it is complete!  The work is often tedious and painstaking and often times at the end of a work period it seems I have made no headway!  But then almost magically, the garden comes to life and is revitalized.  Many,  many times after a garden is complete and I download the final photos and compare them with the before photos…I am amazed and energized by the garden work I have completed!  This clean up was one such challenge.  The pond and walkway had been overgrown for some years and it often times seems endless as it was a very detailed labour intensive job.  I worked it that garden yesterday and walked the steps up past the pond and it has held up to the test of time.  I completed this job a few seasons ago and still it is clean and beautiful!  So very happy with the end result…and MOST importantly so are the Garden Owners! 🙂