Saanich woman lifts neighbourhood spirits with whimsical creations

Sensing that her neighbourhood was feeling a bit glum, Saanich resident Judy Savrtka set to brightening people’s moods with her whimsical earthen sculptures. (Courtesy of Judy Savrtka)Sensing that her neighbourhood was feeling a bit glum, Saanich resident Judy Savrtka set to brightening people’s moods with her whimsical earthen sculptures. (Courtesy of Judy Savrtka)
Savrtka uses a combination of moss paint, grass and flowers to make her creations come to life. (Courtesy of Judy Savrtka)Savrtka uses a combination of moss paint, grass and flowers to make her creations come to life. (Courtesy of Judy Savrtka)
As Savrtka’s creations have become known around the neighbourhood, people have started putting in requests for the next creature they wish to see. (Courtesy of Judy Savrtka)As Savrtka’s creations have become known around the neighbourhood, people have started putting in requests for the next creature they wish to see. (Courtesy of Judy Savrtka)

Noticing that people walking by her home were looking rather glum, a Saanich woman decided to create something that no one could resist smiling at.

In April, Judy Savrtka began building her whimsical garden of creatures. Sculpting dirt was certainly not something Savrtka had done before, but she’s a regular gardener, and with the help of moss paint, flowers and grass, Savrtka managed to produce some stunning creations.

“I just had to give it a shot,” she said.

A long, winding snake is Savrtka’s largest garden sculpture so far. (Courtesy of Judy Savrtka)

Now, when people walk by her home next to Tillicum Elementary School, they are intrigued. Kids headed to school holler at their parents to look and point in amazement. People stop to take photos and knock on Savrtka’s door to compliment her work and suggest what they want to see next.

“It just makes me happy,” she said.

Savrtka never completes a piece in one go, but she estimates it would take a full day. “It’s easy, it just takes time,” she said.

At night, she’s set up lights to illuminate each piece so people can enjoy them at any hour.

Savrtka isn’t sure what she’ll create next, but said she thinks a caterpillar along the side of her house could be a nice addition.


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