Monday, June 11, 2012

The Rosedale Garden Tour - Great Stuff Not on the Tour

My dear friend Peggy and I set out on Saturday morning to do the Rosedale Garden Tour - 21 gardens in 5 hours - and we almost did it (missed 2).  So not bad at all.  We gussied ourselves up for the occasion and were probably about 1 in 10 who bothered to change out of their Saturday morning clean-the-garage get-ups.  Oh well, this is North America, and people don't like to fuss on the w/e.

The gardens matched or exceeded expectations.  There were enough gardens-by-owner to keep us both happy in between the completely over the top money's no object extravaganzas.  Rosedale is Toronto's most expensive neighbourhood.  Tiny lots (no home) go for about $2MM.  So, to devote a patch of soil to garden rather than another home is definitely a sign that these folks are living on the interest of their interest (and a $30 perennial isn't going to break the bank).

Before I show you the gardens, I'm going to show you some great stuff we saw that wasn't on the tour, but lovely all the same.  I know this is a bit of a tease, but I'm looking through the photos this a.m. and the ones that jump out are those of little gardens and bits that we came about as we wandered through the fancy streets.  So, I'll start with those and come back to the tour later in the week.  Promise.

I have conservatory envy.  Every single window was filled with plants in this home below.  Look at the wonderful little green room attached at the side.  Just imagine how many new plants I could start.

Lots of white roses all over Rosedale, goodness help you if you were looking for one or two on the days these gardens were planted, the nurseries would have been completely cleaned out.  Isn't that a lovely Cornus?

If my husband loved me and he robbed a bank, this would be the fence he would have installed for me in the garden.  Beautifully constructed in teak.

Then, just as a throwaway at the bottom of the grasses, these wonderful roses.

When straight just won't do:

Wonderfully fragrant white roses - I wonder if there's a front yard by-law prohibiting coloured roses?

This is one of the loveliest Beech trees I've ever seen in my life.  And, if his lawn maintenance company really isn't using pesticides and herbicides on the lawn (no one in Ontario is permitted to), I'd like find out how he keeps this lawn looking so fabulous.

A tri-coloured beech that I thought looked really pretty with the sun coming through matched next to the greys and putty colours of the stone.

What a gorgeous Gymnocladus diocus - Kentucky Coffee Tree.  You'd need 2 people to give this tree a hug.

And finally, this home was magnificent - sort of like an iceberg - you can see just a tiny portion of in this photo.  I bet the planting scheme hasn't changed since the house was built - 9 flats of impatiens, red, pink, pale pink and white.  Ooooooo, I'd so love to do a couple of wonderful perennial beds from the street on either side of the path, and maybe a stone path rather than tumbled stone.  But it's not my house, so they'll probably have the tiny-shoe garden beds around those locusts for the next 100 years.

I'm going out to weed - and will be back shortly with more from the real tour tomorrow.


Jennifer said...

Barbara, Great teaser! You and your friend did much better than I did. I only managed 6 of the 20 gardens. It was an amazing tour wasn't it? I will have to pop back to see some of the gardens I missed.

Barry said...

Amazing isn't it! I guess the abundance of white is because it truly does come across as pristine when presented against a lush green backdrop. I think white is the colour of money! Beautiful houses in the enclave for sure. I cannot wait to see the actual tour houses!

Kim and Victoria said...

Lovely houses. Our local garden tour is coming up soon. We always go. But they only have 10 to 12 gardens to view. Never heard the term "shoe box" garden but that's a perfect description. Like the no pesticide rule, but I agree, how did they get their lawn so perfect? We always appreciate the expensive places but we can relate and learn more from gardeners closer to our DIY budget, that's for sure.

Barbarapc said...

I'm curious to see which 6 you saw. I was really impressed with the selection and the set-up. So very well done.

Barbarapc said...

The white is absolutely perfect - which is why nothing else will do - rich and fabulous.

Barbarapc said...

This tour is massive in comparison to most - some only have 6 (too few!). If I lived in town I would have spread it over two days, would have made much less of a rush. These days I really appreciate seeing what gardeners have done on their own - especially if they've got collections and started some of it from seed. The big architectural wonders are grand, but certainly lose a lot of charm of a garden that has been lovingly planned and gardened by the owner.


Wow. Ontario forbids the use of pesticides on lawns? We sure need to implement something like that here. I'm impressed. I went with friends on our local garden tour this past Saturday. 6 gardens seemed excessive since by 2 PM the temperature had climbed to the mid-80s. Beautiful photos!!!

Barbarapc said...

The pesticide ban started in Quebec - and now in Ontario - there was a huge push-back from those in the lawn maintenance trade, although now they've found there's stuff they can do and charge for, so all is well. You wouldn't believe how clear the streams are and the shore of Lake Ontario is much less slimy and green. No doubt we're all a little better off - and if more people could learn to love clover, well, all would be perfect.