Flora Glade

 The area directly behind the garage I have dubbed the “Flora Glade”.  The name was stolen from Roy Strongs garden “The Lasket”.  I felt as it was going to be a mix of flowers and trees the name was appropriate. This is where almost all of the perennials are, as well as some shrubs.  It is the one area that is a more ‘natural’ planting, instead of the straight formal lines that I so love.

When we moved in, the only thing behind the garage was a large number of weeds.  There was a huge pile of bark chips from some trees that had been cut down after being damaged during a storm the previous winter.   Bricks were piled against the garage and there was 5 maples in roughly a straight line.  So it was quite shady. 

I started by planting a cedar hedge in a straight line just east of the trees and then running (again in a straight line) between the trees and the “Kitchen Garden”.  From the rest of the garden, this area will look geometric, not to be revealed as more “cottagey” until you are inside (at least, that is the plan). Then I made a bed under the trees,by laying bricks directly on the soil, then a layer of newspapers and then filling with topsoil. I  divided them with paths (and used up the bark mulch) to the “Kitchen Garden”, and paths to the west, east and another to the south. 


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In this bed you can see 5 variegated willows that were left over from a planting at work.  These I cut back to the ground in the spring and they are a lovely pink, white and green. Behind them is a birch clump. One problem with mulching the paths with the bark chips and the bed as well, no definition shows between the beds and the paths. There are bricks there, but they are slowly sinking down to ground level (another job to do, pull up my bricks). One I have more plants and the beds are filled in more, It should be more obvious, what is bed and what is path.

 I also put a large island bed in the middle.  This I started in the summer of 2007.  In the large island bed I planted a small redbud tree.  I was worried that it wouldn’t be hardy in Owen Sound, but it has flowered and grown alot ever since. To balance it at the other end is a sambucus “Black Lace”.



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Sorry, for the poor quality of these photos, they were the very first shots that I took with my new digital camera, and I didn’t know what I was doing (I still don’t). The tree on the left has now been lost in a storm.

I also built a smaller island bed west of the large island bed.  In this I have planted a cornus kousa.  This is my memorial garden to my mum. The cornus was her favourite tree, and she tried in vain to get one to grow for her in Niagara.  It was replaced three times, before she gave up.  This one has lived through two Owen Sound winters since she died, I think that she is looking after it for me.

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 Here you can see the redbud and the cornus in the next bed.


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 Can you see the cedar hedge, I don’t think so.  It really needs that definition of edge.


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Behind the garage we are thinking of building a pergola , with a vine trained over the top.  That is a set of harrows that my dad gave me. I saw a set turned into a gate at Stonyground, that great Canadian garden. There is still more bricks to be put to use somewhere. Everytime we dig in the garden, it seems that we find more bricks, I don’t know why they are buried.


I have planted a lot of shrubs at the edge of the bed. I hope that as they grow, the paths will become hidden and more mysterious.  You will not know what is around the corner. Then I will be able to take out a lot of the “free” perennials that I have been given.


9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Randy said,

    Hi Deborah,
    I didn’t see an email address so I’m responding to your comment here. You can delete it if you like after you read it. 🙂 The statues are about 41/2 feet tall on the pedestals. I had a hard time finding them, but was finally able to get them ordered for me by a local nursery. They came from a wholesaler in Athens, Georgia. Here’s the link:


    Have a good weekend– Randy

  2. 2

    So much fun going on here in your garden, Deborah! I think your mum must be looking after that dogwood for you… it looks pretty happy where it is already. And I don’t know where to begin with the rest, but I have to tell you that I’m drooling over your Flora Glade, your harrows (architecturally, that’s an awesome piece–can’t wait to see what you do with it) and especially those blue trellises.

    Did you buy the trellises like that? They remind me a lot of the old TV antennae that we used to have behind our house… I’ve been asking my Dad for many years now to cut that into decent-sized lengths so I can fit it in the car and use it for trellising. (I had always planned to paint mine red, but after seeing yours… that blue is amazing!)

    • 3

      Kim, you are one clever cookie, you are right, they are tv towers. I have a post scheduled for that tomorrow.
      The harrows, I am not sure yet, waiting for inspriation to strike, right now I am leaning towards a gate.
      Thank you for your kind comments and I hope to see you soon.

  3. 4

    Racquel said,

    It’s looking great so far, just think in a few years how full & lush your plantings will be! Sounds like you & hubby have lots of great ideas for putting your own personal touch on this piece of property. 🙂

    • 5

      Hi Racquel, I have lots of great ideas, but I am lacking the one thing that I need the most, PATIENCE!
      I know in a few years, it will look a lot better, but not right now. That is the one thing about a blog, you are kind of hanging out your dirty laundry, weeds and all.
      I wouldn’t invite the neighbours in to see my garden the way it is now, but I am inviting “everyone else” in.

  4. 6

    reapwhatyougrow said,

    Wow, what a fabulous potager. I am so fascinated to read about gardening in Canada, because we did seriously weigh up trying to emigrate, and the gardening possibilities were right up there on the list of factors.

    You have so much space, and a fantastic natural environment as inspiration. I will follow with interest!

  5. 7

    Thank you for your kind words, I love the raised beds, they add some interest to the garden and the soil is very light and fluffy inside. I am not the best veg grower however, the garden is a bit shadier then I would want for them, and I am only up on weekends, so things can get out of hand.
    My grandfather emigrated with his family when my mother was quite young, he felt that they would have a higher standard of living in North America. (Which they did). We have 3/4 of an acre which we are quite “chuffed” about, after having tiny little gardens in Toronto. And this region has a lot of natural beauty, from 10,000 islands in Georgian Bay, to skiing at Blue Mountain.

  6. 8

    sequoiagardens said,

    Hi Deborah!
    Thanks for your visit to my site and your comment. I have really enjoyed visiting your site and reading the first 3-4 blogs. That harrow idea really has me excited and I like your blue trellisses – and your whole style of gardening and blogging.

  7. 9

    Jack, you are very sweet, keep up the compliments, I love it!
    I am really going to have to come up with something inspired for the harrows, people keep mentioning them!

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