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?