My garden starts at the
front of my house, continues along one side, and then into the back. There
is no grass! (Except for the little bit of twitch that makes its ugly
appearance here and there, through our various mulches.) Starting at the
front walkway of lovely cream-coloured Sudbury Ontario granite (from
Allstone Quarries, Schomberg, Ontario) on the left we look up toward the
front door where there various groups of tulips. The pink/red flowers that
appear to be up against the white door are actually those of the crab
apple ‘Maypole’ one of the Colonnade Collection.
Below on the left here is Camassia,
a lovely Dutch bulb, usually in white or blue, but occasionally of
doubtful hardi-ness. On the right a general view of the entrance with the
wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) in full bloom in May, 1999 and the ivy
(Hedera helix ‘Baltica’) ground cover thriving. Immediately
below these two a vertical shot of the wisteria, again in 1999.
Walk down the driveway
(also of the cream-coloured Sudbury granite that cleans itself of tire
marks each time it rains) on the south and you come to the small side
garden, basically shaded, and virtually totally of ericaceous plants.
Below are two shots of that part of the garden, on the left as we approach
it showing the trellis arbour into the main back garden, and on the right
a shot from the deck, again showing the trellis, with the neighbour’s
garage in the background.
Below these are two more
pictures which show, on the left, the red deciduous azalea (over 1.5
metres tall) against the lattice work that encompasses the back deck; and
on the right the rhododendrons there in their full glory. This right-hand
shot also shows the blue spruce we moved from the front of the house a way
back in 1987 (quite an effort), the cement steps and gate within the
Through the gate (just
designed to keep the two--now one--miniature pinscher in the back garden)
is my not-so-large back garden. The first shot, on the left below, is of
the south side (shaded until after the noon hour) in early spring with the
reddish-pink saucer magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana) in full bloom.
It was in bloom a relatively short two weeks this year and is just
finishing on May 13.
In this next row, on the left is a delightful group of fern-leaf peonies (Paeonia tenuifolia) in full bloom in mid-May this year. To the right is the ornamental pool just a few weeks earlier. Yves Geolier is in cleaning it up after the winter. It is 5.2 by 1.2 metres (17 x 4’) and only 44 cm (17”) deep. The hardy water lilies, iris, grasses and pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) all over-winter at the bottom of the pond.
The pond has four rows of
roses (mixed hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras, English garden and
landscape types) on each side. The rose beds are mulched with cocoa bean
shells. Even though I “preach” the necessity of hilling rose bushes
each winter, we do NOT hill up for the winter. There were no losses this
past winter! I consider this garden a microclimate of its own.
Below on the left is a
slightly later shot of the pool last year, with the various Iris
(mainly Siberian) in full bloom, along with at least one red water lily.
Note the roses are only in bud. The white daisies are in the small urns at
each corner of the surrounding concrete stone border. Note the small brass
boy figurine “pissing” into the water. I have two of these, the one in
view behind the urn at the lower left is bronze and came from a radio
listener years ago when she gave up her garden. The other one, farther
down the far side of the pool, is a concrete replica of the “oldest
citizen of Brussels, Belgium--in 1619”--the Manneken-Pis. Note too the
variegated iris (Iris pallida ‘Alba-variegata’) to the left of
My deck is an entire topic
of its own, and basically it’s divided into two parts, a narrow one-metre-wide
section about 8 metres (28’) long that is totally shaded along the
south, and the main portion that is 8 by 4.5 metres (20 x 15’) at the
back (west) of the house. Each year we change the container plantings
here, but always the feature attraction is my begonia barrel, made up for
me annually by Humber Nurseries. I’ve had this for 16 years now! It is
over a metre high, and when the plants are well developed, it has a
diameter of about 75 cm (30”). It is watered only every few days through
an internal perforated plastic pipe. At my request, Humber Nurseries
plants it up each year with two different cultivars of fibrous begonias (Begonia
semperflorens) in a spiral pattern.
Finally, two shots of the
back garden later in the summer. On the left a late June picture with just
a few of my astilbes in full bloom. I think the various astilbes are just
about the best herbaceous perennial for a shaded or partly shaded garden.
You can have bloom from the different types over at least a two-month
period. And on the right, taken from the rose bed on the north side of the
pool (note there are rose standards amid the bushes in each rose bed)
looking across the pool to the rose bed on the south and the south side
(where the astilbes are) and back (west) perennial borders. From the back
of the west perennial border the garden slopes down into the quiet Moore