Posts tagged cornus

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!

Comments (12) »

Walk This Way

Please, please, walk this way Mr.Plumber. See the path, Mr. Electrician? Do not go to the back door, you might see a scary, overweight lady, standing in her knickers, making a cup of tea.

One of the annoying things about the way the house is laid out on the lot is “people” coming to the back door, the kitchen door to be more precise. And it is glass!!!

When Kilbourne Grove was originally built in the late 1800’s the road that runs beside the house was the driveway to the stable, behind the house, and the front door, faced the street, 250 feet away. Over the years, the front yard was sold off piece by piece, until there is only 20 feet separating our front door form the side of the neighbours house.  When people pull into our driveway, it is logical for them to go to the back door.

This had to change!!!

When I took my garden design course last winter, we had to come up with a client and design a garden for them. I decided to pick myself (after all, I am a very easy customer), I was taking this course for my own benefit, not to change my career. Since it was a very short course, and I have a large garden (not as large as some, but I intend to landscape every square inch), I had to choose an area to focus on. I chose to work on the side yard.

This is the area that would bring visitors from the driveway to the front door. I need to block off the view of the kitchen and back door, and a fence will be built linking house and garage.

Then a path, leading from the driveway, along the side of the house, turning south at the end to the front door.

This is the plan that I drew for my teacher. None of gardens south of the house are on, this part took forever to draw!

Ok, I should have taken a picture of the legend, but I can walk you through it.

 You enter from the driveway (left on the diagram), through an arbour, and walk along a pea gravel path. On your left (top of the diagram) is a row of Emerald cedars (B), underplanted  by European ginger(L). On your fight, a row of Limelight hydrangea(C), with a boxwood hedge(K), this is also underplanted with ginger. You walk to the end and make a sharp turn to the right. I am thinking about having another arbour here. I also am adding a bench here, for those of you to tired from the long walk to the front door. The rows of Emerald cedars and hydrangea continue all the way to the front door.

N on the diagram was the blue spruce that Ian and I moved. Its story is here.

The rectangular box near the entrance arbour is another small garden. As the house is indented here, but I wanted the path to stay straight, this gave me room for a planting bed. It will also be edged with box, and a specimen tree(A) will be planted here. A magnolia, redbud or perhaps a dogwood.

There is a picket fence running from the house, north towards the street, along the path to the property line on the east, with a gate at the front sidewalk.

You might notice a gap between the fence(J) attaching the house and garage and the picket fence. This is where the greenhouse will be built. (One day).

We have already started on this project.

The line of Emerald cedars on the north or street  side of the garden. The tulips were there when we purchased the house. The developer had sodded over them. I was very surprised when they came up in the spring.

Here you can see the indent, where the old kitchen wing is narrower than the main house.

There is nothing between these cedars and the street, hopefully they will give us the illusion of privacy.

A planting plan is always fluid and open to change. When we were planting these, I changed it slightly. The cedars had been so cheap ($20 each) that I decided to make a bit of a niche, bumping it out to match the bay window in the library. This can be used for a bench, or perhaps some container planting.

This is where the second arbour would go. Right behind those grasses, and in line with that white trailer. That is not ours, it is our next door neighbours, we are storing it in our driveway for the winter, in exchange for him snow blowing the drive, yay! Sorry, Edith, about the rocks, they were there when we purchased, and have not been moved yet. Talk about someone just lining them up! I am hoping to have a stacked stone retaining wall built in the future.

Seen from the other side. That big rock is natural, it would have to stay.

And from the street. See how the line of Emerald cedars marches along the side of the house. The retaining wall would start at the left at the sidewalk and follow the curve of those lined up rocks and end at the big buried rock.

Next, would be digging out all those very old, and very large shrubs beside the house, so the hydrangea and the other row of cedars can go in. I can feel my back ache already.

Comments (46) »

A History Lesson: Chapter II

 You are going to know  more about me, than any sane person should have to bear. LOL Don’t say I didn’t warn you.       

I am sure  my regular readers know that I can’t stick with  only one project a year. I would get to even more, but that damn grass just keeps agrowin’. IF it was not a weekend house, and IF I did not have to spend 4 hours (at that time, now only 3 hours) cutting the grass, I could get way more done!       

The Kitchen Garden was actually a very easy project. It took us just one weekend to complete it. So I had lots of time to start on my next project, the Flora Glade.       

This was an area that was driving me nuts. It was behind our garage, but as the garage was situated beside the house, rather than behind, you could see it very easily. And it was a mess. Waist high weeds, a huge pile of bark chips, a pile of bricks, very little grass, and lots of bare spots.  There was also a number of maples in a bit of a “grove” as well.        

So I decided that the space would run from the north edge of the Kitchen Garden, to the garage. And I would use the tree line on the east side, run a cedar hedge beside them and the western boundary would be the property line.       

Behind the Garage, May 2007

The Serviceberry, May 2007

This is where I started. My boss gave me a “bonus” and I used the money to buy a redbud  and a serviceberry for the garden. The soil was as hard as a rock here, so I thought that I would make “raised” beds again. I started by making a little brick bed for the serviceberry (which has since been moved).       

On the other side, the redbud was planted. (See how high these weeds are, scary!)       

This is the only part of the garden that I plan on having more free form beds. Everything else is very straight lines, but I wanted a more natural look here. Using the bricks that were behind the garage, as well as all the ones that seemed to be in every shovelful, (was there a brick factory here at one point?), I started outlining the beds/paths.       

       

Behind the Garage, August 2009       

Flora Glade, May 2007

(Yes, that is our old Christmas tree leaning up against the maple, don’t ask!)       

Marking the edge of the Flora Glade, May 2007

Outlining the beds, Flora Glade, May 2007

The Cornus bed, May 2007

       

August 2009, you can see the redbud in the middle island bed, and the cornus in the next bed.       

Flora Glade, May 2007

These were free plants, Salix integra “Hakuro-nishiki”. They were quite small when they were planted in 2007. They have certainly grown quite a bit by August 2009, despite being cute back hard every spring.       

       

Standing in the same spot, August 2009       

For me the Flora Glade is beautiful any time of year:       

       

whether it is spring,  when the redbud is blooming,     

       

In June       

       

or late summer!   

If you are crazy enough to want to read more about the Flora Glade, you can here.   

Future plans include building a pergola behind the garage, (that is why so much space has been left), extending the beds beyond the blue trellis, and changing the path materials from bark.

Comments (32) »

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. 

 

gardenAug09 118

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”.

 

 

gardenAug09 119

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.

gardenAug09 120

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

 

gardenAug09 121

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

 

gardenAug09 122

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.

Comments (9) »

Say it isn’t so!

Look what I found in the garden the other day.

gardenjuly09 119

The large leaf is from my Cornus kousa chinensis and the smaller is from Physocarpus (Ninebark) “Coppertina”.

Now, I know that Owen Sound is a few degrees cooler then Toronto. But for the leaves to be colouring already! That is ridiculous, I haven’t even had summer yet!  Make it stop!!!

Comments (2) »