This photo was of our return - delighted and full of conversation. As it turns out this former stubble of a property, that was littered with garbage, had been magically transformed by Will Giles into his aptly named Exotic Garden:
He explained how his love of gardening and tropicals came from his grandmother and their visits to Kew. As you can see, in just a short distance we've travelled from concrete to a veritable paradise.
His garden is resplendent with tropicals of all shapes and sizes - and with a tree house and ladders to higher levels. He's one of the few grown-ups I know who has been wise enough to hold on to the fun that makes life a delight.
Can you believe all those palms?
For those of us who cannot have palms growing outside all the time, but want a tropical look - one thing we can do is grab those plants within our Zone hardiness parameters that look tropical and weave them with a pot or two that you take in and out of the house over winter.
I'm definitely going to have to plant some Dahlias next year.
And once again, more of these mind bending - this-can't-be-a-British dry garden.
Even though I'd have to use Mesembryanthemum as an annual to get this effect - I bet it would combine well with some of my sturdier hens and chicks and Sedum.
Down at the bottom of the garden was what looked like an old confessional - no confessions today - just a nice cup of tea and a little quiet sit me down.
Here's the tree house up at the top. I was a total wuss - Kevin climbed up the ladder into the tree house. I saved my going up high for the London Eye for later in the week.
If ever there was a garden to prove you shouldn't judge a book by its cover it was this one. It also has me thinking about how I might encorporate an element or two of surprise into my own garden here in Oakville. Something to mull over during our long cold winter......