Archive for topiary

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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A Rosedale Garden

I know the Toronto Botanical Society’s Rosedale garden tour was a couple of months ago. I soooo wish I could have gone on it, but was flying back to Barbados that weekend.  But I wanted to share a garden with you that is gorgeous enough to be on it. It is also in Rosedale, and belongs to a friend of mine.  We met in Barbados through my neighbour, and immediately bonded over gardening. When I returned to Canada in May, I was invited for lunch and a garden tour. This garden was a true labour of love for my friend, thought about in great detail and it shows. We are both huge fans of structure in the garden, both hard and green, flowers while gorgeous are an accent to the space.

You enter through two massive beech hedges, kept softly in shape rather than firmly clipped.

This allows you to enjoy the movement of the hedge as the wind blows and allows dark then light to shine out from them.  These are accented with a clipped box hedge which in turn leads to a square box of roses sitting directly in front of the main entrance.  The paving laid in a diamond pattern directs you towards the door where two more beech hedges on either side of the door echo the ones at the sidewalk,

repetition at its finest.  A yew hedge separates the house from the sidewalk and encloses two more planting areas. 

 Another enclosure of clipped box is a frame for peonies and sedum, both plants that look good all year. A serviceberry accents one corner, allowing for early season blooms.

On the other side, directly under the window is a box parterre. This is accented seasonally with a colourful annual, this year a dark coleus was planted. I love the structure and shapes in the front garden. Even if you did not have any flowering plants in it, the different colours of green and textures make it interesting.

I took this photo from the third floor so you could get a good look at the overall design of the back yard. The back yard is divided into three main areas.  A lovely brick garage has been accented with trellis-work, breaking up the expanse and allowing roses and clematis to climb. Beside it is the dining area, bordered by box, heuchera and carex.

Two steps down and you arrive at a small sitting area where you can admire the pool with its infinity edge. Water pours out of four opening into the pool allowing the sound to mask any city noise. The copper beech hedge looks dark and mysterious against the light stonework of the pool.

This provides a lovely backdrop in the third area, which is the main sitting area.

Two identical small buildings are joined by columns, roof and backed by a large mirror. This not only hides the neighbours beside them, but the mirror doubles the size of the garden, you can see the pool (and me) reflected in it.The overturned pot on the pedestal is planted up by now, usually with grass, which is also reflected.

Changing the flooring material sets off the sitting area beside the pool, the brick looking like a carpet.

 Four laburnum trees are also enclosed in diamond shaped box, that is also underplanted with coleus for colour later in the season. Box hedges edge the garden here as well and act as a frame for the hydrangea, fern and hostas that are planted behind them. The japanese maple beside the pool is the only remaining plant from the original garden. It was dug up and saved off site while the hard landscaping was going on. Then it was returned and replanted, and it certainly adds to the overall scheme with its size and colour.

Love it against the blue of the pool.

Although there are not a lot of perennials in this garden, there is colour all year.  This garden was designed to be low maintenance (although I am sure you do not believe it). The hedges are cut a couple of times each year, and the rest is really just a few varieties of easy care perennials. And if you did not want any colour, you could remove all the perennials and between the trees, hedges and ground covers, you still have an exciting and dynamic garden.  I LOVE it!

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