Posts tagged trees

Garden Visits: Yesterdays Garden

Last week, Teza asked me and my fellow garden forumers (is that even a word?), to write about our favourite nursery.  At the time, I couldn’t think of any. Sure, I liked some of the big ones, Lost Horizons, Humber etc, but none of them was a place that I could see myself working. And to me, that is what makes a favourite, could I see myself visiting there on a regular(daily) basis, and could I even picture myself working there.  At the time, I had not come across a nursery that could make me feel that way, until this past weekend, when I went to pick up the Tilia trees I had ordered from Yesterdays Gardens.  You know the feeling that you get when you are home, that warm fuzzy feel, I felt that right away.

Turning up the gravel lane, your drive through a narrow tree lined tunnel, before the vista opens up. And you see them, gorgeous display gardens.

Love that white metal arbour.

Wait, I like this arbour too!

Another view of it.

Do they know I am looking for a statue?

Arriving at the main sales area, we were greeted by two cats,and had a look around while the owner was serving another customer.

The first hoop house we came to had a lovely assortment of interesting perennials, but the second,

look what was in it. Davidia involucrata was a tree I had only seen in books and magazines, but here it was in the flesh. This variety ‘Sonoma’ , flowers in its second year, unlike the species, that can take up to 20 years to flower.

I also saw,

Sinocalycanthus ‘Hartlage Wine’, isn’t she a gorgeous colour. These were just two of the fabulous shrubs and trees in this hoop house, I want them all!

Wandering back out to the main sales area, I was greeted by Karen Charron, who owns the place along with her husband Ron. And I mean warmly greeted. When I told her who I was, (and bear in mind, we had only talked on the phone when I was ordering the trees), Karen leapt out from behind the counter to hug me. Leading the way to the hoop house where my Tilias were stored, she kept us entertained all the way with stories about different plants and suppliers she knows.

Yesterdays Garden was picked as ‘One of Canada’s Top 40 Speciality Country Nurseries’ by Gardening Life magazine and it is well deserved. Believe me, if Ian hadn’t been waiting impatiently, I would have lingered for hours, and dropped a pile of money as well. Luckily for me, (and unluckily for Ian) this amazing nursery is a 10 minute drive from my fathers house. 

I suddenly feel the urge to visit him  ………..


Thanks Heather,

Yesterdays Garden is located at #401 328 Grey Road 4, Hanover, Ontario, 1-877-364-2731



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The Tale of the Blue Spruce

I hate them.

 OK, that is a bit harsh, but I am not a huge fan.   My parents had planted two on the front lawn of their house, and they grew huge, and blocked the view from the windows. (It was mostly us kids fault, we gave them to my Dad for two Fathers Days).

When we purchased Kilbourne Grove in May 2006, imagine my dismay when I saw this fairly newly planted blue spruce, right on the front lawn. You had a great view of it from the bay window in the front parlour  and I hated it!

But, I left it alone until last month, hoping it would perhaps grow on me.

It didn’t.

So, after promising Ian many favours, we moved it. You notice I said moved it, not got rid of  it. I felt bad for my poor unloved blue spruce. I could not take his life, but I could move him to a more, shall we say, less prominent spot.


The view from my front parlour. (Sorry, this picture is not great of the blue spruce, I was not taking it with the thought of writing a post about it. You can see that I was attempting to hide it with the Emerald cedars.)


A little bit more noticeable, taken from outside.

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Notice the big gaping hole here, that was a lot of digging!

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Taken from the other direction. I would like to put a tree back in this spot, but something more (in my eyes anyway) ornamental.

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Something I found a bit odd, but maybe someone with more tree planting experience than I can enlighten me. When we got to the root ball, we found it still in a wire cage. We cut this off when we replanted it, but I was disturbed. Since I am frugal (Scottish), I have never purchased a tree larger than a three gallon pot. Are you supposed to leave the wire cage on? I can see where the tree roots would have plenty of room to grow out, but it seems bad to me, for Mother Earth!

So, we moved the blue spruce close to the road, near the driveway. I am thinking of changing the shape of the driveway to more of a courtyard. This means I have to plant trees and shrubs along the edge of the property, close to the street. We would leave an entrance from the street and then it would widen into a square in front of the garage.


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Toronto Botanical Gardens-Fall

I took another course on the 24th of October at the TBG. It was supposed to be on speciality pruning, they already had a basic course. It was made up of two types of gardeners, Home gardeners (all women, for some reason), and “professional” landscape gardeners (who were all men). These men all worked for the same company, and they were there to learn “how” to prune. Their company wanted to learn how to do it the “right” way, not shearing shrubs into little round balls (I think that we have all seen that). While I commend them for this, I was also annoyed.  The course became basic pruning, at  least 99% of it was. The last 5% was devoted to speciality pruning, ie: pollarding, espalier, etc. I took it hoping to get some help with my pleached Lime Walk, something that is very “uncommon” in Canada. But, alas, there was no help to be found.

But, while I was there, I took some pictures. The difference in the last three weeks is huge.

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I would love to look out my window and see this.

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What amazing colour, almost orange!

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Why are my Japanese maples not this colour?

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These are the “full moon” japanese maples,

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A fabulous contrast in colours.

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This is fothergilla “Blue Mist”, what a lovely colour.

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The paperbark maple, or acer griseum.

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Look at the bark, it really stands out against this blue glass background.

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This crabapple is just loaded with fruit. Love the way it hangs over the berberis.

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Again, great colour. Perhaps some planning for next year now, will give me better colour next year.

P.S. Sorry, I got the order of the posts mixed up. After I said in the last post, “it is the last one on the TBG”, I publish this one. This is the last, I swear!

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Falling Down…To The Ground…

It won’t be long till I have a lot of nakedness at my house. Trees, people, get your minds out of the gutter!

Leaves are coming down rapidly now, soon a big wind will come along and that will be it for another year.

I found the leaves were not as nice a colour this autumn, at least not in Owen Sound. I was at the Toronto Botanical Gardens for a course on the weekend and the colours there were fabulous. I am working on a post with pictures from there. Everyone seems to have amazing photographs of autumn colour, but at Kilbourne Grove it was pretty quiet. I don’t know why, I have a sugar maple, silver maples, Japanese maples. Why don’t I have that famous eastern North America colour in my garden?

The japanese blood grass, is well, gorgeous.

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Give it a few years, the clumps merge together, and it will be a sight!

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The cerostigma plumbaginoides is turning red. A great contrast to the blue flowers  (which are almost finished).

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Here it is planted under the cornus kousa I planted as a memorial tree for my mum.

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Look at the amazing purplely colour of the leaves!

Speaking of purple….

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Look at the oak leaf hydrangea. I love the contrast of that dark purple against the golden yew.

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Let There Be Light…

Usually, I would be happy to see some sunlight in the garden, but not this time. I designed the whole Lime Walk around the shade in the garden. There is two 75 foot long rows of hydrangeas  that were planted two years ago. They have been doing very well, especially this summer, but when the maple tree in the back lost 1/3 of its canopy, (you can read about why that happened here)  this happened…

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You probably cannot see it from this picture, but the hydrangeas are looking a little shocky, hopefully that is just temporary. Next years when they leaf out into a more sunlit world, they might just decide they like it.

If not, well, I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

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