I was visiting a friend on Denman Island this week, part of the northern Gulf Island chain. The last time I was there was June of 1997 when some of us garden gals went over for the home and garden tour. It was the best garden tour I’ve ever been on, partly because of the company. But the gardens were amazing too, and the homes, well, let’s just say there are a lot of very creative people on the Island and their homes are works of art. I also ate the best Greek food I’ve ever eaten at a small stand set up in one of the orchards.
The main highlight though was visiting Des Kennedy’s garden. His garden was beautiful, of course, but I also remember being struck by the fact that he mulched with layers of newspaper. In addition to retaining moisture, the mulch prevents the weeds from growing. Another feature that really caught my attention was the two seater (knee to knee that is!) compost toilet. I had my friends take pictures of me on the pot. The king of garden comedy signed a copy of one of his books for me that day. Inside Living Things We Love to Hate, he wrote: Hug a Slug! Years later, Des was kind enough to review my book in which he appeared as a diary entry.
On my return to Denman, 15 years later, we ran into Des at the recycling depot and had a little chat. It was especially fitting that we should see him there; we weren’t just returning our recyclables, we had gone in search of newspapers, to mulch the garden bed we had just planted up.