Former nurse plants more than 100 golf clubs in her Oak Bay garden
When Betty began transforming her backyard, her thumbs were far from green.
“It was just plain ordinary gardening,” the 88-year-old says. “And weeding!”
But over the decades, Betty’s garden has grown into an extraordinary array of blossoms and whimsy.
“There’s a little bit of everything,” she smiles, pointing out some of the teapots, teacups and ski poles rising amongst the dahlias.
There’s also the golf clubs, which Betty first found discarded at the municipal yard.
“There were a few there. They were free. I took them,” Betty explains. “And then people started giving them to me.”
And now there’s more than a hundred golf clubs ‘growing’ in her garden.
Although the clubs share the flower beds with those pots and cups, Betty’s puttering is more “tee-time” than tea time, more wedges than hedges, more birdies than bees.
It’s an un-fore-gettable, par-fect garden.
After considering golf/gardening puns, I ask what Betty’s golf handicap is.
“I don’t know. What’s a handicap?” she asks with a smile. “I don’t golf.”
Betty says she’s never golfed before. Since she was six years old, she had her sights set on just one thing.
“When the war broke out, [I decided] I’ll become a nurse,” Betty says. “I’ll join up. I’ll go overseas.”
Although the war ended before she became a nurse, Betty did serve on the frontlines of the polio pandemic during the early 1950s.
“That was very, very difficult,” she says.
But the most difficult thing was losing her husband Charles. That’s when Betty really started focusing on her flowers.
“It relieved the sadness and the stress,” she says.
And the nurse discovered that healing could happen beyond the hospital. Then and now.
“We’re living in a topsy-turvy world,” Betty says.
Which is why Betty keeps fertilizing her garden with fun — to inspire happiness and healing for all who pass it. Although there’s no hole-in-one solution to the countless challenges we face, Betty says it does help to cultivate joy.
“It’s good for one’s soul to go out and work in the garden,” Betty says with a smile. “And play in the dirt!”