Welcome to our virtual garden tour – a circular loop through our perennial gardens and veggie garden and back again.
You walk through the front gate and to your right is the front deck with its hanging baskets of fuchsia and bacopa, which Dave made this year, while to your left are the driveway garden and the new woodland garden. The driveway garden was planted in 2018, and has grown significantly since then. The new woodland garden was originally going to be a stone patio, but we decided it would be better as a garden so removed all the gravel and put in soil and plants in 2019 to create this Piet Oudolf-ian garden.
You walk down the path between the two gardens, enjoying the flowers on both sides of the path. The cupid’s dart and the monarda (bee balm) are particularly pretty right now. The hummingbirds like the monarda a lot, so we have been trying to get photos of them sipping flower nectar.
You look down to the bamboo pots – these were planted in 2018 and are becoming quite tall. Beyond is the garden gate flanked by two catalpa trees, which have finally begun to mature with this year’s rain.
You turn right and look into the woodland garden. This garden was created in 2015, our first full summer here. We dug out all the grass that was under the trees and lined the path with rocks to define the edges of the bed. Then we filled it with shade-loving plants from Margaret and from other places on the property (some of the ferns are from the property). On the short white post is a light, part of the yard lighting we installed in the winter of 2019 so we could see the dogs outside at night. In the background is the garden shed in the veg garden.
You are heading for the small garden gate behind the deodora tree, which we planted for our first anniversary here in 2015. As you go through the gate ahead of you are a pair of red-tipped spruce flanking a large metal gate. These are neat trees because they have bright red tips in spring and their cones are also red-coloured for a few weeks. We got them from the sale bin at the local nursery and they’ve grown prolifically since we planted them. They’re almost like wizards with their swoopy branches and irregular shape.
You turn right after going through the gate, so now you have the perennial border on your right and the veg garden on your left. This perennial garden was done the same year as the woodland garden: 2015. We brought in a guy with a backhoe to dig out the hole for the garden and to move some rocks around so that we could have a tiered garden. We dumped all of the spoils in the back of the property as it was filled with rocks, and brought in over 5 yards of soil to backfill the hole. Once we put in our plants – most of them from Margaret – we brought in several yards of bark mulch and put that on top of the soil to discourage weed growth.
The veg garden was also done in 2015. Dave dug all of the holes in our terribly rocky ground and then mixed concrete for each hole to put a fence post in. The fence is high enough to keep deer out, though they seem to stay out of our yard for the most part if we keep the gates shut.
You take a closer look inside the vegetable garden.
Then stroll along the perennial border and enjoy the flowers.
At the end of the perennial border you see the grass garden with a maple, an oak, and an ash tree between several large grasses. We planted this garden in 2018, rototilling up a patch of grass to create a privacy screen between us and our backyard neighbours. The grasses are still growing and haven’t yet reached full height yet for this year. The maple and the ash came from Margaret and are doing quite well, while the oak was a reject from a local nursery.
To the right is the rock garden, which we changed around a lot from what was originally planted there. We took out a dogwood because it didn’t have enough room to root, removed a California lilac because it was too big for the space – unfortunately it didn’t survive being transplanted. We put the grass in at the top where the dogwood used to be, and creeping Jenny, irises, pasque flower, a maple, and some succulents on the different layers of the garden.
You look at the vegetable garden gate then head inside to see the apples on the trees and the prolific garlic and snap peas. Unfortunately this year the lettuce greens are a bit sparse and half of the onions didn’t germinate. The beans are also somewhat anemic but are getting there.
You leave the veg garden and walk up the path between the rock garden and the perennial border.
You look into the woodland garden on your way by. From this side you can see the Korean dogwood again, but also some Japanese forest grass and ferns.
You then head back up to the front deck, which is surrounded by shade gardens (i.e., ferns and hostas).
Your tour is complete!