Posts tagged Frank Kershaw

Top 11 of ’11

In case you were curious, I certainly was. These were the 11 posts written in 2011, that had the most page views. I was surprised that so many of them have to do with Barbados, not quite sure why I was surprised, I guess because I feel like my blog is about my garden, although now it feels more like about my life. And my life is now in Barbados, it least for the next two years. And I only like to write about personal things, not take a picture from the internet, and write a brief paragraph about it like some bloggers do. My blog has become a journal, a snapshot of what is happening in my life at this time, and that certainly includes Barbados.

1.  The Magnificent Seven

I was surprised this one was the number one post of 2011. I wrote 2 posts on my trip to Trinidad, but the post about the seven amazing houses was the most popular. It was certainly one of the most interesting things for me, I am sure you all know I love old houses, look at Kilbourne Grove.

2. Gardening in a Cold Climate

My visit to the amazing garden of Brian Bixley was sparked by reading a review of his book by Kathy Purdy on her website. Luckily I was in Canada for his first open garden of the year (you all know I love bulbs), and took a million photographs. Kathy was kind enough to post a link from her blog to mine, and she became my second largest referral site in 2011. Thanks Kathy.

3. Pride of Barbados

After gardening (and floral design) for soooo many years, it is disconcerting to live in a country where I only recognize 10% of the vegetation. It is fascinating for me (and I hope you) to discover new plants.

4. Gotta Have It: Bougainvillea

I have long loved bougs, and was super excited to find them in full flower when we moved here last December. The flowering seemed to go on and on and on. Luckily, I was given one for our terrace here, and have found it a super easy plant to grow, just wish they were hardy in Canada.

5. It’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to


What I left behind!


This post was a bit of a moan for me, sorry about that. At the time I was feeling a bit unhappy, leaving my friends, family, job, home and garden, to live in Barbados. When we moved to London, I was beyond excited, but that was LONDON, I could work, travel to Europe, and I am a bit of a city girl at heart. However, after spending most of the spring and fall in Canada, when I wanted to be there, and spending the winter in Barbados (who wouldn’t), I have adjusted.

6. St. Nicholas Abbey

Back to point number one, I love old houses. And Barbados has 2 of the 3 Jacobean houses in the Western hemisphere. St. Nicholas Abbey was sooo gorgeous.

7. Drax Hall

Funny that the second Jacobean house in Barbados was the next most popular post. This one is not open to the public, so we were only able to see the grounds.

8. Ah, Life!

For some reason, some of you wanted to know a little bit more about me, so I gave you a lot more, more than you asked for, sorry about that, I do like to ramble. Here is the story of my thoughts about moving to Barbados.

9. Pots, Pots, Pots!

Frank Kershaw was my garden design teacher at George Brown College and he opened his garden to the public. There was so much to see, I had to break it down into a couple of posts, but his pots were the most popular.

10. Porters Great House

Barbados has its own National Trust, and during the ‘season’ a number of homes opened to raise money for it. This was the only home I visited in 2011, but hope to visit more this year. I was surprised more people did not read Part 2, where I talk about the garden, that is where my true love lies.

11. I’m going home

Not sure why this one was so popular, unless you were happy to see me head back to my ‘forever’ home.  I certainly was.

There you have it, my most popular posts in 2011, what will 2012 hold…


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Objects D’Art

Sorry, to keep boring you with Frank Kershaws garden again, but I feel there are so many valuable lessons in his garden, that you cannot appreciate them all in one go.  Decorative objects in a garden are almost as important as the plants.

 Often times, they give you someplace to rest your eye, and give order to what can be, a jumble of plants.

Whether you are using

a rock with a natural hollow for sedum,



or stepping stones made up of a mosiac of pebbles, they add another layer to a garden.

And everyone needs a bench (or two) in their garden,certainly not to sit down and have a rest, (us gardeners never do that),

but so you can put your tools on it, and you know where they are!

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Pots, Pots, Pots!

When I was at Frank Kershaws garden course last week, I was amazed at the number of planted pots that he had through out his garden.

 Most of them are hypertufa, and they are planted up with a mix of dwarf trees and shrubs, hardy alpines and bulbs.

A mulch of pea gravel finished them off.

My friend Barry, also has a large number of  them as well, outside his house.They are beautiful all year. I think I need some!

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Frank(ly) Kershaw

Although I am living in Barbados for three years, I still am trying to keep in touch with the Toronto/Canadian gardening scene. I still have a subscription to Canadian garden magazine, my membership is up to date at the Ontario Rock Garden and Hardy Plant Society, and the Toronto Botanical Gardens still sends me the program guide. All winter I was heartbroken over all the exciting courses I could have taken, and moped around. But my spirits lifted when I received the spring/summer guide and I saw Frank Kershaws course.

Frank had been my instructor in Garden Design at George Brown college in Toronto, and we had visited his garden as part of our course curriculum. At the time I did not have a camera, (what a dummy), and so no photos of his fabulous garden. But this course was the end of April, when I was back in Canada, so no excuses this time.

It figures it was a freezing cold, rainy day, Canada has certainly made sure that I got a taste of the weather that I had missed, lol. Although the course was on pruning, I wanted you to see Franks garden instead, it is just beautiful. 

You notice the ‘colour echo’ at the front of the house.

The berberis, dogwoods, pick up the colour of the valance, and ties it into the garden. There is also a purple smoke bush that has not leafed out yet.

Here Frank divided his front yard from his neighbours, but did not screen it off, this way it still has an open feel.

On the other side, he used Emerald cedars to make another ‘open’ division between his garden and his neighbours.

Hopefully, one day mine will look as good.

Jasminus nudiflorum, or Winter Jasmine, first flowered in January, and is reflowering in April. It is actually a lax shrub that needs some support. If it does not get it, it runs along the ground and roots very easily.

Moving into the back yard.

The rock garden wall.

The waterfall of grass. Most of them are Hakonechloa, and it is magical in the summer.

The woodland garden, it is lovely in the spring.

It wraps around the corner,

with Daphne mezerum on the side.

 Behind the garage, there is another garden bed, but I would like to draw your attention to the trellising on the back of the garage.

 What a fabulous use of tromp l’oeil, it certainly fills a large blank space.

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