Posts tagged peonies

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!


Comments (17) »

Floral Fantasy: Peonies, Part II

On my very last night in Canada, while I was pruning my willow, I started thinking, (I know, again, usually a bad idea).

The peonies were beautiful, they had just started flowering, and we were leaving, what a waste. But my MIL and SIL were there to take us to the airport the next day. Would they not like a bouquet. of course they would.

So I cut all the peonies, and since I had just pruned the willow, I had a lot of foliage to add to them.

Do you like them?

Comments (24) »

Happy Birthday to Me!

Wow, it’s my birthday. I will not tell you how old I am, except to tell you it ends in a zero. Actually, it was my birthday yesterday, but I do not post on the weekend, so I had to wait unil today.

The best part about being born on 06/06, is you never have to remember if it is month or day first when filling out forms, love that! I am also wondering if my parents picked a “D” name, as it is D-Day, I guess I will have to ask, inquiring minds want to know!

When I was a little girl, my Nana (the first garden influence I had) always used to put the first peony blossom on my birthday present. This has led me to a life long love for them (Pavlov’s Theory has nothing on this). I thought that I would share a picture with you of one of the gorgeous peonies currently blooming in my garden.

Meet ‘Do Tell’!

Hope all your birthdays will be as fabulous as mine was, Do Tell!

Comments (46) »

The Year in Review

         Happy New Years Eve


photo takes at St. Lawrence Market, Toronto     

Does this look a bit like the Times Square New Years. Just waiting for the ball (or star) to drop.     

 I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas and will have a Happy and Healthy New Years, (and get slightly polluted).     

I thought that I would take some time and list what I have accomplished this year. Sometimes, all you see is what you have to accomplish, not what you have accomplished. It took a regular reader, thank you BarbaraH, to point out how much my hedges have grown since I first planted them, all I could see, is how much more they need to grow, before they hide the Deliverance house.     

What did I accomplish in 2009? (I am only listing the large projects, not the day-to-day weeding, lawn cutting etc.)     

1. I planted (finally) the lindens that I want to pleach (wish me luck on this) in the Lime Walk.    

2. Two yew hedges were planted to create another garden room, I have no plans for this at the moment, but I am referring to it as the Yew Garden, so Ian knows what I am talking about.     




3. The Serviceberry Allee was started.    



4. The line of Emerald cedars on the north side of what will be my path leading from the driveway to the front door, has been planted.               

Our one day path









5. The Peony Walk (all I seem to have is walks, couldn’t I come up with another name?) has been started. The peonies on the north side have been planted.        

6. A new bed was built on the west side of the Kitchen Garden for Teza.       

 7. The stone stairs up to the cedar berm.       








When I look at this list, I do feel proud off all that Ian and I have accomplished. It is just a weekend home (and not every weekend). We do have to take some time and smell the flowers as well as plant them.        


Comments (38) »

Garden Visits: Northumberland Hills

When I was in Kingston my friend took me to a couple of good garden centres. She felt sorry for me, because I am always complaining that there is not as many of them in Owen Sound.

The first one was GardenNet. They are north of Trenton, and have a beautiful setting. Based at the owners house, there is display gardens all around the house and nursery area.


Cedar Arch

Cedar Arch

You walk into the display garden through a cedar arch. I took a picture to make sure that my husband gets a look. Tools are always at the ready!



kingston2009 083


She has an amazing sense of colour and plants a lot of containers. Look how the colours in the container pick up the paint colour on the window trim and door.


kingston2009 087

A few more.


kingston2009 091


Part of her display garden near the road. Who says they don’t like red?




GardenHouse Perennials is another great nursery.

 kingston2009 094



They used to be based in Coburg, but moved up to Morganston. 

kingston2009 092

 The building was an old cheese factory that they renovated and turned into a shop. The outside has a huge display garden that the owner built in one summer, just him and his trusty dog.

As well as selling plants from the shop they have a mail order business for daylilies and peonies.  They also have a garden design and consultation business.

Comments (14) »