Off Again

Yay, at least for me anyway.

I think Ian is a bit disappointed.  Back in the fall!

This was taken at a J24 regatta in Barbados, I think it looks a bit like a painting.


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Garden Visits: Folmer’s Botanical Gardens

I have wanted to visit Folmer’s Botanical Gardens in Walkerton for years, but it never worked out. This garden was featured in Canadian Garden magazine a few years ago and I became even more determined to get there. However this spring, I finally succeeded. And I wish I had made more of an effort because I loved it.  I got so inspired, I feel like I need to buy thousands of Anamone blanda bulbs this fall.

Certainly need me a display like this,

and this

what about this.


Brian Folmer has been passionate about gardening since he was 15 and studied Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph.  in 1996 he purchased 108 acres and began planning a garden centre, garden design and display gardens.  According to their website, they are the largest privately owned botanical gardens in southwestern Ontario.  There is over 30 acres of display gardens, both formal and informal.


I need gates,

just like these ones.

And a gazebo,

all good.

Now this I could do,

I certainly have enough muscari, just need to put a path in.

And lots and lots of spring bulbs.


we got vistas for days, (need to work on mine, it is one of my favourite design features).

And did I mention the serviceberry allee,

certainly longer then mine, and with single trunk specimens, rather then multi trunked,

it gave me lots of hope that mine will one day be as gorgeous. Love the vistas and focal points in every direction.

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Garden Visits: Kingston

Are you sick of spring yet? I showed you what was happening in my garden, and then at Marion Jarvies. Now I want to show you an amazing garden I visited when I was in Kingston.

Just north of Kingston, which is called the Limestone City, (why, you guessed it, Kingston is built on limestone,) is an area where the limestone of the south, meets the granite of the north. Here you can garden and have the luxury of choosing to plant in either an alkaline soil or an acidic soil.  And this gardener took clever advantage of that with her rock garden. 

Divided by a very low stone wall,

one side of the rock garden has granite boulders with the other side limestone. 

Can you tell Pulsatilla vulgaris is my new favourite plant?

Here she can have both acidic or alkaline growing plants almost side by side.

She also has the luxury of space and has taken advantage of that as well. Everywhere you look there is an exciting vista,

from looking through the trees and seeing the lake in the distance, 

or the woods as a backdrop to an arboretum.

Stone walls,

either built or rebuilt by the gardener,

are also an amazing backdrop to the profusion of spring bulbs. 

She has also started to naturalize bulbs in the grass, both tall like narcissus, but also mixed small bulbs. This ‘flowery mead’ is the look I am thinking of for my front lawn at Kilbourne Grove and I got lots of great ideas here.

And what a great idea,

turning some cedars into a topiary. They are very easy to get where I live, and free from my brothers farm. Another idea I am pondering for my garden.

Stone and water is everywhere in the garden,

from boulders used as punctuation points,

to birdbaths being carved into it.

However it was when we went to leave, driving down the lane to the main road that I got super excited. Lining it, on both sides were thousands of Dicentra cucullaria, or Dutchman’s breeches.

This is a native plant to the woods in eastern North America, and I have seen them over the years.

But never in that profusion, amazing. Of course I went and bought a few for Kilbourne Grove, hoping they might multiply a bit while I am living in Barbados. Perhaps one day I will be able to achieve a tiny bit of that perfection.

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Garden Visits: Marion Jarvie

I know, I know. You are probably horribly bored of seeing Marion Jarvies garden over and over and over again. But I can’t help it, I love it. She is one of my plant gurus. Every time I visit I see something else I just have to have, darn it all. And this is one garden that I go out of my way to see every time I return from Barbados.

This time I was paying a lot of attention to shrubs and conifers in her garden, last year it was the hellebores.

Not that I didn’t take a huge number of photos of them, but I was astonished by how much colour diversity there was in the woody plant material.

Sorry, I did not get the names of the conifers. It was raining and we thought we would have to cancel the course so I ran around getting as many photos as possible. We did not have to cancel, but did cut it short so I am glad I did.

A couple of deciduous shrubs flowering,

Daphne mezereum ‘Marion Jarvie’, which I purchased last year,

and a cornus mas.

And her urn, gorgeous.

I soooo miss planting up seasonal urns, I even taught a few workshops on it when I worked at East of Eliza, one of my favourite jobs when I worked there.

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In the Round

Well, at least half round. 

When we were in Canada last autumn, we found some stone benches for a great price near my MIL’s.  We purchased three of them, and finally got two back to Kilbourne Grove, with another one to return with us hopefully this fall.  The first year we were at Kilbourne Grove we had purchased one of those sets that you see a lot of, a concrete table with three rounded benches to go around them. My best friend had a set like this, and we learned after a dinner at her house, they are soooo uncomfortable. So we bring wicker chairs over to the table when we have dinner, and have placed the benches around the garden.

Can you see the benches?

Two were in the Kitchen garden with one under a tree near the Croquet lawn.  When I had designed my front path (which will hopefully happen as soon as we get transferred back to Canada), I placed a focal point opposite the bay window in the library.  Four ‘Emerald’ cedars echo the shape of the bay window, jutting out from the path. My teacher had suggested using it as a statue niche, but I had those benches at the back of my mind. And now that we had the new, (smaller) ones to take their place in the Kitchen Garden, they could be moved.

So we did,

lots of grunting and groaning going on

and they will have to be moved again when we do the path and the grass comes up, but I am super happy with the way they look now.

This photo was taken from inside the library.

It seems a bit empty behind them, but the spirea hedge will be extended along behind the cedars, hopefully this fall. I am super cheap, and wait until I find them on sale, and buy as many as will fit in whatever vehicle I have rented at the time. So far, 15 have been planted, and I am almost half way, yay!

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