Parking Lot Upgrade

The old adage, "sometimes you have to make a mess to cleanup" seems particularly meaningful in these winter months. The winter is a great time to tackle large projects and renovations around the golf course, including the recent work in the Bay parking lot. I'll detail the process, and materials chosen to renew the parking lot medians.  


 

The medians were originally planted with "Magic Carpet" mounding Spirea and Kwanzan Cherry trees. Although spirea are known to be deer resistant, we here at Cordova Bay are witness to the most tolerant and gluttonous deer population around! This was an important factor to consider when the parking lot re-design was underway. The display of river rock that was recently installed at the Tall Tree Physiotherapy building helped to inform a solution.  

The decorative river rock is a deer resistant solution that will reduce maintenance in such a high traffic area. By choosing to install decorative rock rather than plant material, we are making an effort to reduce irrigation demands and create a sustainable landscape. 

Two areas nearest to the entrance will be replanted with fuchsias, one of our favourite plants here at the course. This will add a splash of colour to both compliment and contrast the fresh medians, as well as create an inviting welcome when you arrive.  An added bonus is that fuchsias are deer resistant and low maintenance, they also provide attractive blooms through the spring and summer with their colourful foliage still showing long after that. 

 

You will still see many flowering cherries on the golf course this spring, but the new parking lot specimen trees won't "snow" on your car while you have a bite in the restaurant.  Superintendent Dean Piller and I made the trip to Greenthumb nurseries in Nanaimo to hand select the Paperbark Maples that are being installed. These trees are "field grown" and have been dug and wrapped in burlap to make for easy transport and planting.   

Acer griseum or Paperbark Maple is a unique species that provides interesting colour and texture without dominating the space. These trees grow to be 20 to 30 feet in height with a spread of about half the height. The eponymous paper bark peels off the shiny red-brown trunk in thin layers, which may cling to the trunk for a long time before wearing off completely.   The peeling bark really is the show piece of this variety, along with the leave's fall colours which are a rich shade of bronze or red-brown. 

While "maple" calls to mind a certain leaf shape, it does not apply to this variety. Rather than the familiar three to five lobed leaves, the paperbark leaf is trifoliate, meaning each leaf is a grouping of three leaflets. I think that these trees are even more interesting in the winter since the delicate branch structure is visible along with the cinnamon brown bark.  It was a snowy day up-island when we selected these trees and the luxurious bark texture contrasted beautifully with the crisp snow. 

Maintenance team members Max McKenzie and Brian Croke have been hard at work preparing the medians for the new material. The old cherries had to be cut down and the old spirea dug out. The existing irrigation lines were capped and partially removed and new irrigation heads installed for the trees.   A layer of sand will precede the soil for the trees, and the decorative rock.  

 

The sustainable approach to the parking lot, along with the successfully proven plant material makes this an integral project as we enter the 25th Anniversary year.  We welcome you to check out our freshly renovated parking lot next time you enjoy a winter round or a lunch in the restaurant. 

Emily Richardson

Horticulturalist