And So To Bed

We put the garden to bed this weekend. Well, as much as I actually do. All I do is put a thick layer of bark chips (will they never end) on it.  And do a lot (a lot) of raking.  I don’t cut back my perennials, I like to see something, (at least until the snow covers them) in the garden.

The Lime Walk. looking north from the Deliverance house towards our house. Looking at this picture, I find the boxwoods look unbalanced. My idea was to have them on either side of a path, that runs east and west through the Lime Walk, from the Yew Garden to the Croquet Lawn. The path has not been made yet, (mostly because I moved the original path I made, isn’t changing your mind frequently, a womans prerogative?). I will make it in the spring, perhaps then the boxwood will look like they were placed there for a reason, instead of looking like I lost two. I am also toying with the idea of cedar buttresses, marking the east/west path. (I have so many ideas whirling through my head, poor Ian is terrified, more work for him).

The leaves are all, either raked onto garden beds, wheelbarrowed into a leaf composter, or mulched with the lawn mower.

The Serviceberry Allee is all neat and tidy.  Here you are looking west, towards the Kitchen Garden. However my helleborus seem to think that spring has arrived, and they are sending up buds. I covered them with a fluffy duvet of leaves hoping they will get the idea that it is winter. I have decided to extend the Allee, all the way and meet the Kitchen Garden. Another project for the spring.

 Here you can see the north side of the Serviceberry Allee and the south side of the Yew Garden. There is a 6 foot wide space between them, I am still up in the air about what I will do with this space. (not leave it empty of course!)

 Now, I am already for the snow to arrive, actually I am seriously hoping for spring to be right around the corner and another season to begin!

47 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    fairegarden said,

    It looks so full of promise, Deborah! How fortunate you are to have so much land to work with, and the foresight to plan for the distant future with the trees and shrubs. If I might add a suggestion, the boxwoods will be too shaded once the trees are larger. Maybe you are planning to move them later, but I know from experience that things sometimes grow faster than expected, and way larger! 🙂


    • 2

      Frances, thank you for the suggestion about the boxwood. I am planning on pleaching the trees in this walk. This means they are almost a free standing espalier. They will probably not be more than 2 to 3 feet wide at the top. Do you still think it would be too shady for the box?

      • 3

        Melissa said,

        At least here, boxwoods really like shade so I wouldn’t worry too much if this were my garden. I’m so envious of how ahead of the game you are! I shall tell myself it’s because you are farther north, but I think it’s because you love your garden so much that you are putting it to bed properly before winter sets in. Here the leave are just beginning to fall.

      • 4

        Melissa, Kilbourne Grove is 2 1/2 hours north of Toronto, and the leaves are coming down fast. We have had snow in November before and I was caught with my pants down, so to speak. Now I try to get ahead of the game, you never know how long you will have.

  2. 5

    Joy said,

    Oh my goodness Deborah ! You have such a wonderful garden to play in girl !! .. I wish I had such a great space to work with .. so much opportunity and promise and you have started out so well .. you would have a good giggle over my back garden (scary .. really scary to have neighbors so close, practically sitting in my lap ? haha) .. I am so looking forward to seeing how your Serviceberry ally blooms in Spring .. I am so happy I have my Autumn Brilliance to watch (Korean Maple next on the “hit list”) .. it all looks wonderful girl !

    • 6

      Joy, I know the feeling about neighbours (not that I have ever had them sitting in my lap, you are pretty friendly, lol). Our garden in Kingston sloped sightly at the back and the deck from the kitchen was 4 feet off the ground. You could look over and see the neighbours perfectly. We actually built a kind of a pergola on it and trained a Virginia Creeper over it. It was on the side of our closest neighbour and ended up giving us tons of privacy.

  3. 7

    kiki said,

    Great work! I love your property..I think it is fantastic! I bet you can’t wait till spring and summer to see the beauty come to life again!

  4. 9

    Beautiful pictures, I love your house and the layout of your garden. I see what you mean about the boxwoods, but it’s so hard to tell with the deciduous trees being bare. I’m sure it has a very different look in the summer. Interesting that you don’t cut perennials back, I never have either, but did for the first time this year (since they were such a mess after the early freeze). I do like the winter interest they provide, and they are so good at trapping leaves/snow for extra protection. Anyhow, everything looks great, your garden has a very solid structure now and will be so much fun to watch fill in and develop. 🙂

    • 10

      Rebecca, I started with no cutting back of perennial, for the same reasons you gave, winter interest, and trapping leaves and snow. Toronto and Kingston do not have a reliable snow cover. Over the 3 winters we have spent in Owen Sound, well let me say, snow is VERY reliable. There has never been less than three feet.

  5. 11

    Barbara said,

    Hi Deborah, my experience with boxwoods is that they can take a lot of shade. I have two huge old boxwoods that are in the shade starting at about 1-2 pm in the afternoon, and they are thriving. I had actually thought of moving them, since they were slightly in the way of my new potager, which you so kindly commented on, but after taking a first stab at it decided it would be impossible, just too large, too well-rooted, and what a shame. So don’t wait too long if you want to transplant them. Barbara

    • 12

      I know what it is like to try and move a well established shrub/tree. The blue spruce we moved had only been planted for four years, but was very hard work, and so heavy. I am planning on espaliering the trees, so the canopy will be very slim. Hopefully that will not be too much shade.

  6. 13

    Jim Groble said,

    we use leaves from the paths. In the spring we’ll dump sweet peet over the leaves.

    Very nice pics. it’s a nice tour of your yard.


  7. 15

    Deborah, you are laying great bones in your garden! I think the structure that trees and shrubs provide lends year-round interest and a sense of enclosure. The Serviceberry Allee will be a fabulous feature.

    Very, very nice!!

    • 16

      Thanks Ms S, I am looking forward to seeing the Allee flowering in the spring.(and also extending it). I am so trying to plan for the time when I will not be able to physically be so active in the garden. That is one reason I am planting so many trees and shrubs. And they take a long time to grow!

  8. 17

    catmint said,

    Hi Deborah, interesting we are both doing mulching, opposite sides of the world and opposite climatic conditions. I think there are special jobs for in-between-seasons, which is about now for both of us. I wonder if I should get a mulcher? Don’t even have a lawnmover now that I have got rid of all the lawn.
    Continue happily planning, garden-dreaming, garden-evolving … cheers, catmint

    • 18

      Isn’t it amazing that gardeners are so alike! Mulching is important for all gardens, athough Canada has one of the worlds largest supplies of fresh water, everyone must do their part to conserve it. Gardens(and especially lawns) do not need to be watered on a regular basis. It annoys me when I see people wasting water like this. Mulching is so important!

  9. 19

    miss m said,

    I’ve never been so anxious for Spring to arrive either.
    Your space is looking tip top, Deborah. Here’s hoping for an early Spring ! 😀

    • 20

      Thanks Miss M, I hope that you will continue to visit all winter, I am hoping to show you a couple of pictures of the inside of the house.

      • 21

        miss m said,

        I will, don’t worry ! This winter will be a great opportunity for me to do a lot of blog reading, catch up on backposts and discover new blogs. (I found another Canadian blog today, btw !)

        Oooh, photos of the inside, can’t wait ! Oh, and don’t forget you got some scanning to do, eh Deb ? 😉
        Can’t wait to see those too !

      • 22

        I am looking forward to the same this winter, I have a huge stack of books and magazines as well.
        I still have to find someone who owns a scanner. I would love to do some posts on my adventures in Europe this winter. After all, how many times can you write a post about snow!

  10. 23

    Barbara said,

    Hi Deborah, I forgot to ask – what kind of path are you planning in your lime walk? I think the boxwoods would look more “motivated” with a path. I’m wavering back and forth about the paths in my boxwood-enclosed garden – gravel or stone tiles or bark?

    • 24

      Barbara, right now it is the grass path, mostly due to time and money. I would love to change that one day to pea gravel or some kind of hard surface, maybe a type of brick. I do not want to have the bark chips (even though I already do) on a permanent basis, it is not “formal” enough for me. Roy Strong at The Lasket, laid a very beautiful path, by using 3 colours of pavers, terracotta, black and yellow. Some were cut on a diagonal, and some left alone, to create the most amazing path. Maybe I can talk Ian into that!

  11. 25

    Wendy said,

    It’s lovely. Both what you have already and the plans you’re working on!!

    I love how you have names for each part of your garden. I only really have “back yard”, “side garden”, “perennial garden”. Then again, I have a tiny sliver of what you have to work with. The house is beautiful.

    • 26

      Wendy, even when I had a small lot (35 x 152), I still named areas of my garden, mosty after the flower colour then. I had the Black and White Garden, the Round Lawn, the Thyme garden, the Woodland Walk. Too much english garden reading, heavily infuenced me.

  12. 27

    I love your property! You have lots of room to do whatever you’d like with it! You even have a croquet lawn. I remember playing that when I was a girl, in the lawn that was used for everything else.

    That house is beautiful, too!

  13. 29

    Hi, Deborah. I am glad to get an overview of your garden. Though my own garden is woodsy and informal, I really like the good bones of yours. How perfectly your garden is suited to your home. I look forward to seeing everything blooming next year!

    • 30

      Thanks Deborah, I would love to have an area like your garden, but it was ALL lawn, when we purchased the house. I have planted some trees and shrubs, but it will be a few years before I see any kind of serious growth.
      I am so looking forward to spring!

  14. 31

    Barbara H said,

    What fun to catch up on reading your blog and finding the new plantings, walks, etc. looking so established already! You’ve made a tremendous amount of progress. My leaves are still all ungathered and unfortunately may stay that way once again. But I swear, by next fall I will have an area set up for stashing the collection – your black gold photos are very inspiring. And inside photos? Can’t wait!

    • 32

      Barbara, the clay soil is so heavy in spots I need a ton of organic material to lighten it. Even with this amount of “back gold”, I am sure it will be years and years before it is great.
      Thanks for the compliments on the garden. I appreciate every word!

  15. 33

    Barbara H. said,

    Hmmm…I thought my comment had posted but it has disappeared. I’m so happy to see your special areas really taking shape. I’m just now catching up on your blog – the black gold looks lovely. Can’t wait to see some interiors.

  16. 34

    Barbara H. said,

    Well, suddenly there the first comment is as well as it’s replacement! Oh well.

  17. 35

    Town Mouse said,

    Well, your garden looks way more tidy than mine. Very impressive!

  18. 37

    Sylvana said,


  19. 39

    Tatyana said,

    The house is wonderful! Charming. And what you’ve done to your garden tells what a good mother you are to your plants!

  20. 41

    Anna said,

    It looks as you have done a grand job preparing for winter and all so neat and tidy Deborah. Is that a wooded area behind the allee ? Hellebores buds are well advanced here too with some of them showing colour already.

    • 42

      Thanks Anna, I am all set, just waiting for the snow to fall. It is a wooded area, part of the Niagara Escarpment, and a protected area. Which is great, no one can build on it.

  21. 43

    Lynne said,

    Just wondering – what do you do with all the bark chips in spring? Do you dig them in or get them all up again (what a job that would be). I am doing it all in reverse here in New Zealand. I am about to put a good layer on to protect the roots from the baking sun and keep the moisture in when I have watered. But in winter I don’t know whether it will then keep the soil too wet and whether I might need to take it all up.

    You have a beautiful garden. I followed your link here from Fairegarden and am about to subscribe here too 🙂

    • 44

      Lynne, thank you so much for visiting my blog and your kind comments. I leave my bark chips on all year, and even “top” them up every year. I find that it just keeps the soil moist, not wet. But we get a very heavy snow cover all winter. You could check out Catmints blog, she gardens in Melbourne and recently wrote a post about mulching at

      Looking forward to seeing you again.

  22. 45

    Lynne said,

    I’m having a bit of trouble subscribing. When I click on the RSS icon, it tells me I am already subscribed :-/

    I’m definitely not. I’ve checked and triple checked. Any thoughts?

  23. 46

    Lynne said,

    Scrub my last comment. On about my 6th or 7th attempt it suddenly went through. I almost didn’t try one last time lol.

    Oh the unfathomable vagaries of the net.

    • 47

      Lynne, I am sorry that you had so much trouble with it. Sometimes, I hate the internet, it seems so tempermental, and makes me “mental”. My blog is though WordPress, but the majority of garden blogs are through Blogger. I can be quite time consuming to post a comment, sometimes I will have to try it two or three times, and sometimes I just give up. Thank you for your perseverance with me.

Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: