Posts tagged heuchera

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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Do I Repeat Myself?

Yes, I do! And it is NOT boring!

Repetition, is an important design feature, I repeat, repetition!

I had that lesson hammered home on Tuesday, when I visited a friend of a friends garden. I wrote about Lois’ garden last year, and also about her amazing(and very tidy)  potting shed.

Last year, I visited in August, so it was a pleasure to see her garden in early summer, and it was just as amazing now as it was then. Definitely not a one season garden.

But what made a huge impact on me this time was the repetition of certain plants in her border. A strong edge really defines a garden, especially if there is “chaos” (her words, not mine) behind the edge.  Lois had used a perennial geranium, (sorry I didn’t get the variety, but maybe someone can recognize it) along with a dark heuchera, and repeated it along the border.  And I apologize in advance for these pictures. Why does it always seem to be sunny when you visit peoples gardens, and mid day? Not the best time for taking pictures, especially for a point and shooter like me.

Lois will probably be horrified that I posted this picture, (sorry about the hose, although all gardeners will have the same thing in their garden), but it is the best picture I have of the heuchera/geranium edge. Look how stong it looks, and really sets the stage.

Allium christophii is another plant that she uses at this time of year to lead your eye through the background plants, as well as giving it a place to rest.

Ahhh, a bit of shade, bet you are glad, lol.

Another border uses dianthus or pinks as the edging plant.

Although only these three plants were distinctly repeated, it made these borders feel very designed, instead of just finding a hole to plant your newest acquisition in, like sometimes happens to me.

The long view:

You can see that she uses hay as a mulch to keep the weeds down, in another month, the plants will have grown some more and most of the hay will not be seen.

And just a couple more vignettes that I really liked,

Crambe cordifolia,

Blue Oat Grass and Sanguisorba,

And an (unknown to me) clematis, the very first plant to catch my eye on this wonderful garden visit.



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