A Return Visit to Larkspur Lane

Memories, ah, memories.

I returned to Kingston last week and visited my friend Janus at Larkspur Lane. I showed you her garden last August, but June is a magical time, (and not just because that is when I was born). Nothing is eaten, heat or water stressed, everything is so perky and fresh.

A few peonies were still in flower,

Buckeye Belle

Janus had a “senior moment” and couldn’t remember the name of this peony, but don’t worry, I will get it out of her!

She is really starting to like hostas, and they are starting to bulk up in her garden. When I look at the size of them (I am such a size queen), I realize that I never leave mine to grow long enough, either I am dividing them, or moving. I want some big ones too!

I love the contrast of the broad leaves of the hosta, against the finer leaves of the nepeta,(I can do this),

or against the strappy leaves of the iris,(I can do this too),

and what doesn’t look nice with peonies and alchemilla. actually all my arrangements at work lately are including these, and hosta leaves of course.

Some martagon lilies arising from a bed of hosta.

One of her latest “Rainforest Sunrise”.

Janus is also a bit of a size queen.



Onopordum acanthium,


After all, you can never have too many delphiniums.

And for all those wondering who has won the book giveaway:

the draw from Ian’s hat revealed Melissa’s name, Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of a slightly battered edition of Beverley Nichols ‘Down the Garden Path’.


34 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Edith Hope said,

    Dear D, Some very lovely combinations, many to be stored up and possibly copied – I am thinking of T and G’s garden here – and all grown so well. Visiting the gardens of others is always such a pleasant happening as one comes away with all of the ideas without having done any of the work.

    I do like the Angelica especially grown as a gigantic statement plant as in your friend’s garden.

    • 2

      Yes it is Edith, I actually came away with a few plants as well. That Angelica is gorgeous, I think I should get one now while my garden is immature and there is room for it.

  2. 3

    gardeningasylum said,

    So nice to see delphiniums well grown! They are just so special.

  3. 5

    Hi Deborah – size does matter, especially in hostas and delphiniums. So nice to see a substantial grouping of delphiniums. They always look best when they are planted en masse. It’s great to get inspiration from other gardening friends – I rely on a couple of them myself.

  4. 7

    Melissa said,

    How exciting to see my name on that piece of paper! I’ll look forward to the book whenever it arrives, and give it a place of honor in my gardening library. Thank you so much!

    I also wanted to say I love all the huge hostas and am envious of anyone who can grown delphiniums – too hot and humid here for them to be successful. And your friend must have some special slug repellent. Thanks for sharing these photos.

    • 8

      Melissa, I think she has slugs, but when you have so many delphs, who can say if some are eaten.
      You are very welcome, I hope that you enjoy Beverley as much as I do.

  5. 9

    miss m said,

    No doubt about it, BIG is beautiful ! Janus has stunning combinations and make sure to give us an update on that mystery peony because I have the exact same one ! πŸ˜‰

  6. 11

    teza said,

    Garden tours are wonderful as they bring new and refreshing perspective to our own gardens. The Angelica gigas is one that I have toyed with purchasing for years, and now with the border on the west side of the house, I think it is time to add its majestic height and beauty. Funny how Hosta seem to be infiltrating the lives of gardeners yet again. I don’t think they ever lose style, we just need to be reminded every now and again. Fabulous garden tour, thanks for taking us along!

  7. 13

    Laurrie said,

    All the classics – peonies, delphiniums, hostas, lilies and ladies mantle – so nice to see in combination, especially when perky and fresh! Did you feel the earthquake this week? Kilbourne Grove and Toronto are a bit away, but it was widely felt everywhere, even here in northwest Connecticut.

    • 14

      I did feel the earthquake, but I thought it was just a heavy truck going by. Then Ian called me and asked if I felt it as well, so I knew then what it was. Hope I never feel another one!

  8. 15

    What a beautiful garden! I never really thought about it, but I am a size queen, too. Big and bold I always say! Of course, not much of mine has grown up yet to be big … Love the combinations. Very inspiring!

  9. 17

    OH! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope it’s great as chocolate cake.

  10. 19

    Kathleen said,

    Deborah ~ you have some amazing gardener friends. Wow. Very inspiring. All the plants are huge. I’m definitely doing something wrong….
    Good luck getting your Allee finished. I think it looks pretty good already.

  11. 21

    So beautiful! The delphinium is especially nice! The peony looks like Gay Paree or Bowl of Beauty to me, but there are others with the same colours. Gorgeous! πŸ™‚

  12. 23

    Jean said,

    Deborah, My favorite hosta is not one of the fancy new varieties, but the species H. nigrescens. According to the Hosta Library (http://www.hostalibrary.org/index.html), this is the original vase-shaped hosta from which better known cultivars like ‘Krossa Regal’ were bred. It took nigrescens a couple of years to get established in my garden, but now it is a presence that any size queen could love — a clump close to 4′ tall and about 3 1/2′ in diameter. It seldom blooms in my garden, but when it does, the flower scapes are about 6′ tall. -Jean

  13. 25

    I’m hosta challenged. I’ve tried. Ravenous Slugs 10 – Me 0. However, I do appreciate anyone who can successfully get their hostas to thrive, and these look fabulous! I love the swathe of delphiniums too!

  14. 27

    Joy said,

    My goodness Deborah !
    I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to meet while you were back in Kingston.
    Your friend’s home must be on the outskirts of Kingston judging from the lovely countryside look of the pictures.
    We have been lucky to have the right combination of rain and sun here so most gardens and countryside is looking great .. so far !
    Joy : )

    • 28

      Joy, she is close to Napanee, but we were in Kingston, visiting other friends, dining at Le Chien Noir, it was a wonderful time. Next time I come, I will give you a call.

  15. 29

    debsgarden said,

    Your friend’s garden does look so fresh and beautiful! I love the hosta, alchemillia, and peony combination. It is refreshing to see such delightful plants. My own garden feels wilted and stale. The atmosphere even smells moldy, though predictions are for a weather front to bring cooler, less humid air for a few days. I hope so!

  16. 31

    dorsetmichael said,

    lovely garden. over here in england the dry weather has meant we have been spared from the usual onslaught of slugs so our hostas and delphiniums are looking good this year…your friend certainly llikes big statements!

  17. 33

    Hi Deborah, I just love that photo with the martagon llilies. They intrique me and I am thinking of trying some – probably white. πŸ™‚ I must also say, you are getting pretty handy with that camera – great photos!

    • 34

      I love the white too Ms. S, I keep thinking I should try them as well, (but I think that about almost every plant). Thanks for the compliment on my photography skills.

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