10 October 2010

Other People's Gardens: Flora's seaside dream

Since I haven't had a chance to do one of these posts for a while, how about a visit to one of those wonderful, perfect gardens: You know the kind I mean, Other People's Gardens. To my mind, everyone else's garden IS perfect, and a teaching exercise, and a joy. This time, we're going to my friend Flora's garden, not far from Yarmouth, NS.

Flora's garden is sort of like mine in that it is challenged by living near the sea--wind and salt spray are a fact of life in Sandford. Her back garden is surrounded by a fence that acts as something of a windbreak, although if things were as wild this weekend at her place as at ours, she'd need a fence 20 feet high to buffet the wind.

This garden is steadily evoloving and growing and changing with each year. Flora swears every year that she's not buying/accepting any new plants this year, but none of us believe her...and all of us help to feed her habit. She enjoys a mixture of old fashioned garden varieties as well as newer ones, and is quick to share with others. I now have a young Deutzia 'Codsall Pink' compliments of Flora.

I love to watch Flora's garden changing with the seasons. From the eruption of the bulbs every spring, to the blooming of her many roses and other flowering shrubs, to the changing of foliage colour in the trees, this is a garden with the art of 4-season interest totally mastered.

Some areas of the garden shimmer with cool pastels in perenials, grasses, and shrubs like the beautiful rose cascading beside the barn.

Other areas are warm with rich hot colours in helenium, astilbe, phlox and foxgloves.

From Flora, I learned that we can move plants regularly til we find a place that really suits them. She laughingly says they get bored looking at the same sights all the time, and appreciate a change. I use this for an explanation when I decide to move plants. Works every time.

This garden has something fascinating to look at everywhere you look, from low-growing heucheras and hostas to the tall, elegant lilies.

Lilies do very well in Flora's garden. Well, everything seems to do very well in her garden.

The fountain sings its soothing song all day, a perfect counterpoint to the birdsong and the bees feasting in blooms around the garden.

It's entirely possible that I am slightly jealous over this wonderful blue hydrangea. It's a beauty, as is the pink one, and the huge, enthusiastic whiteflowered climbing hydrangea.

Cascades of roses tumble from shrubs and ramblers all around the back garden.

Flora's garden is a little warmer than mine, so she has some things come into bloom a couple of weeks earlier than I do, like her various tall phloxes...

But like in my garden, the cool sea air means that blooms also last much longer. Her aconitums are magnificent.

Flora's garden is a rich mixture of flower colours and shapes, foliage textures and sizes. It's a living, joyful place, and one of my favourite gardens. It's a garden of joy, which is just what a garden should be--and its bounty has been shared around most of the county, and beyond. For after all, gardens are best when they are shared with other gardeners, aren't they?


  1. Hi, Jodi;
    Oh, how gorgeous!! You're not the only one who is jealous over that blue hydrangea. :D

  2. yes jodi, flora's garden is luscious of wonderful blooms. I didn't know there is a climbing hydrangea and that is so awesome. I visit garden shows too to feel envious and at least experience being in a nice garden, unlike mine! haha!

  3. A charming garden and you've done it justice in this post. I like Flora's observation that you can move a plant multiple times until you find the right place for it. I certainly have followed that advice.

  4. That is one seriously neat garden. I was looking at the pictures, then looked out the window at mine, and I just burst out laughing!

    One day I will tidy it up.

    I will.


  5. Dear Jodi, Flora's garden is indeed a delight. I love the blowsiness of it all yet it just has an element of restraint which makes it all look so well cared for and tended. Her colour combinations are pretty, dramatic, bold, understated......yes, she seems able to manage it all effortlessly. But, as we all know, it is this casual look which is so very difficult to obtain. Perfectly lovely!

  6. Lovely photos of a beautiful garden. Happy Thanksgiving Jodi.

  7. Indeed, all-season joyful, Jodi. Flora has a gift for combining colors/textures and you share the gift of living near.

  8. I have so enjoyed these photos of Flora's garden. Look at the deep and beautiful bed in the last photo. What a gift she has...all the photos are testament to her creativity and love of gardening. As EH says above, "we all know it is this casual look which is so very difficult to obtain"...it is obtained with skill one cannot but admire in Flora's garden.

    Now I was most pleased to read there is a Codsall Pink, as...my grgrgrandfather was born in Codsall. Will search that out, thank you very much))).

    The blue Hydrangea...stunning!

    Thanks Jodi, always such a joy to visit other gardens with blogger garden friends.

  9. Beautiful garden, and good point on why we move plants around. I’ll use it next time I get ask that question

  10. What great photos of a gorgeous garden! Your friend has a truly special place. It is so colorful; I think your mild summer temperatures must provide perfect growing conditions - not to mention the care and skill of the gardener!

  11. What a beautiful garden! I love all the pretty color choices. I like the explanation of moving plants. :) Change is good!

  12. What a beautiful garden! I, too, think everyone else's garden is perfect. And include me in the garden envy of that hydrangea--I've never seen so many blue blooms!

  13. What an enviable garden, Jodi. No wonder you find so much joy in it. I love the shot with the blue hydrangea and birdbath and that last one of the entire border. Talk about well-placed plants. I have a LONG way to go!

  14. I never liked helenium until now. What a beautiful arangement. Great use of design. Great rudbeckia too. I wonder how long lived it is in Yarmouth? I'v never had one for more than 2 years.I guess 'Goldstrum' and laciniata, are exceptions, but for the newer vars. two years is exadgerating.
    ---and I'm not usually a "daisy person".

  15. Flora's garden is gorgeous. So much variety, lush and very well cared for.

  16. As someone who also moves plants, a lot, until I am happy that they are happy and in the "right place" (until I change my mind again), I am going to adopt Flora's "it was getting bored" explanation the next time I get raised eyebrows when I announce another move. Thank you for sharing your love of your friend and her beautiful garden.

  17. You are oh so right when you say Flora's garden is perfect. It is certainly a beauty even in photos. How could she not have a perfect garden when her name is "Flora". I am glad you shared this lovely garden. It looks cool and lush.

  18. This is a wonderful garden. Based on just the blooms alone this is the kind of garden I'd have if I knew what I was doing with design and placement. I have several of these blooms in my own garden but it doesn't look like this.


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