Archive for design

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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A Birds Eye View 2013

Lucky you, it is that time of year again, where I brave life and limbs, standing on the roof to take photos of my garden. Don’t hold back your screams of delight, I can tell how excited you are.

So this is where it stands this spring, our 7th,

Front Garden

Last spring I planted Acer campestre ‘Carnival’ here, and you can just see it against the cedar hedge. What you can’t see is a purple smoke bush, Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ just to the side and behind it. I think it will be a lovely contrast between the Acer and the Cornus alternofolia ‘Golden Shadows’.

 

You can just see the Fritillaria meleagris (at least the white ones) in the grass.

Lime Walk

Note to self, finish extending the muscari the length of the walk!!!!!

Nothing to report on the Lime Walk, although my friend David Leeman had been here the week before,

 and had tamed the shaggy monsters the box balls had become.

Now I just have to keep them in line.

The Serviceberry Allee

The Allee just keeps ticking long, although I do have to get in, divide the Narcissus ‘Bridal Crown’ and space them through the length of the allee. These were forced pots from work, and I just threw them in the ground when I started the very first bed.

The Flora Glade and The Kitchen Garden

Here you can see the Flora Glade and Kitchen Garden.

Ooops, still have not got my path finished, the one that I was working on last spring, lol. That has to go on the list for the fall, it would be really, really embarrassing to show you the Flora Glade next spring, with the path not done.  Added a couple of shrubs here this spring, hopefully I remembered to take some photos of them before I left and I can update you.

And just for your viewing pleasure, a bit of a further away shot, called not using the zoom on the camera.

You can probably see what looks like a tall post to the left of the garage. This was a diseased red maple that we had cut down in the fall. I have the bright idea of growing a clematis up it, just another thing to add to the list.

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Eerie or Beautiful?

Or perhaps eerily beautiful.

That is what I find the sculpture like at the Toronto Botanical Gardens. I visited with a friend last week, when I was waiting for Ian to arrive from Barbados.

This ‘temporary’ art installation is made up of natural materials, either found at the TBG or gardens maintained by Landscape Ontario members in Toronto. Designed by award-winning garden designer W. Gary Smith, it took over 300 hours by volunteers and staff at the TBG.

I love it, whimsical, magical, it calls out to the child in me. What about you?

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Two Gardens, Two Countrys, One Gardener

Not that I really have two gardens, although I do have a terrace, and a balcony, and lots of pots, that counts as a garden, doesn’t it? And I am certainly in two countries, and do not have any help in the garden, (except the lawn cutting, and I only do that as I know the bylaw officer would be around if I didn’t).

Sometimes I feel stretched very thin, it would be a lot easier if my large garden was where I was most of the year, and my smaller pot garden put up with me for the other 12 weeks, but it is not to be.

Instead I come home to this,

Yikes, hard to see all my freshly applied gravel

twice a year, and spend 4-6 weeks on my hands and knees weeding. It certainly looks great when I go back to this,

where I lounge around by the pool, tee hee, and then come back to this,

again.

Now, I have even more pots as I have added a lot of herbs.

I am tired just thinking about it.

How about you? Any other two garden gardeners out there? Any gardening in two different countries like me?

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Floral Fantasy: White

Who doesn’t love white? Especially in flowers. Always elegant and classic, it is certainly the most requested colour scheme not only for weddings, but also for most design work. And throw in some chartreuse, yummy! I would always advise customers at the flower shop when they were not sure of a colour for a gift arrangment, to go white.

As a neutral, it is suitable for any home, and people have much stronger opinions about colour, white is certainly a safe choice. My friend happens to love white and green, smart woman, so when I was visiting her in Toronto, it was off to pick up some white and green flowers to prepare an arrangement for her coffee table.

I have already showed you the hydrangea arrangement we made for her front hall, and we had some extra Limelights left and more hostas, so we lined this vase as well.  I love lining vases, when I worked at Kenneth Turner, all our clear vases were lined, we used to use a flower frog made out of chicken wire to hold the flowers in place. But when I worked at Black Eyed Susan’s, we taped a grid on the vase after lining it, much easier on the hands.

Grouping flowers is the big trend in the floral design world now, so I added my hydrangea in two groups of two. When you are grouping larger flowers it is not as important to add them in odd numbers, however I would never put just two roses together, so they were added in groups of 5 and 7. 

Commercial chrysanthemums and alstromeria completed the  white flowers, while green hypericum berries brought in a fresh shot of green.

And that green Wasabi coleus, talk about yummy, I loved it, and it was cut fresh from the garden. Perhaps a bit too fresh perhaps.

The next morning we found small puddles of water on the surface of the tray and could not figure out where they came from. Imagine our surprise, when we discovered new ones later that day. How was this happening?

Looking a bit more closely at the arrangement we discovered this.

I have been a floral designer for over twenty years, and had never seen this before. Has it happened to you?

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Floral Fantasy: Hydrangea

Who doesn’t love hydrangeas? When I was working in floral design, it seemed to be the one flower that customers and designers always wanted to include in arrangements. And with good reason, it is classic and elegant. I was staying with a dear friend for a few days and we decided to make a couple of flower arrangements.  I was surprised at how much I missed flexing my ‘design’ fingers.  After the coffee table arrangement was completed, her amazing garden was raided, and the Limelight hydrangea was just asking to be used.

 

After lining the crystal vase with blue hosta leaves, three chartreuse ‘Sum and Substance’ hosta leaves anchored the base, before it was filled with the Limelight hydrangeas.  A few fronds of ‘Ghost’ fern added more texture near the bottom.

I have always loved large arrangments in a front hall or a dining room sideboard, not only do I think they look dramatic, they are one of my favourite to design.

What do you think?

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A Toronto Garden

This is where my split personality comes in. As much as I love my friends garden and I wish it could be mine, then I see a new plant that I just have to have, and it throws the whole design out the window.

When I visited this Toronto garden with my friend Barry in the spring, I made a huge list of plants that I wanted.  And it was long. And then got longer.

The design of this garden is a typical one, long borders running along the side for the whole length. of the garden  But it is the plant material that makes it extraordinary.  And certainly the use of colour.   While the photos were taken at the same time of year as my friends garden, you can tell these photos were taken in the spring, while in the Rosedale garden, it could have been almost any time of year.

However this garden does have a lovely little topiary feature near the end of the garden, enticing you to go and take a closer look at it.

It also has the good fortune to back onto a ravine, who living in a city would not want this. Look no neighbours, only a lovely sylvan view.

I love this sculpture, perhaps I could DIY something with a similar feel.

A closer look at the topiary feature, but look at the glorious beauty of the Cornus behind it.

This glorious Cercis canadensis ‘Appalachian Red’  had me wanting to dig up Old Stumpy.

This Prunus came from Marion Jarvies garden and is a new variety named after her. Lovely colour.

Every where you looked there was colour. And it was not all from flowers, look at how many coloured foliages there are in this garden.

I shall certainly have to search out this trillium, isn’t she a beauty.

This Erythronium was given to the home owner by Keith Wiley, it is certainly a lot larger then my ‘White Beauty’.

When I saw Hosta ‘Fire Island’ I was blown away, made sure I purchased my own this spring.

And I wished I had asked for the variety of this Helleborus, what great foliage.

And I was happy when she told me this Arum seeds all over her garden. I purchased one a couple of years ago, and I would be a very happy girl if it did the same for me.

So what do you think of my last two garden visits? Do you perfer a calm, serene, low maintenance garden with lovely formal structure? Or a collectors garden, where every day is different?  I want them both!

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