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.
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”.
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.
Here you can see the redbud and the cornus in the next bed.
Can you see the cedar hedge, I don’t think so. It really needs that definition of edge.
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.