After following a cartoon map - one produced on-line made to illicit giggles by watching you follow it to the end of the earth rather than to your destination - I stopped at the Acton Subway to get some real instructions and eventually arrived at Lost Horizons nursery to find every perennial I didn't know I needed and a wonderful new friend and blogger - Barry a.k.a. Teza of http://tezalizard.blogspot.ca/ Teza's Hortus Magnificum.
For over a year, I'd half threatened to go to Barry's nursery and say hello. After I'd read that he'd met several other Ontario bloggers this past year and discovered I'm not his only garden/blogger-stalker, I'm one of a fine group, I introduced myself in the hope that we might be able to meet. I was thrilled to hear back that we would meet soon at Lost Horizon, a nursery I hadn't visited in years. Barry, brought two of his delightful garden friends, Julie and Pat, who like us, think a day off in a marvellous nursery is a tonic to almost anything life can throw at us.
Lost Horizons is a paradise for perennial-lovers with a sense of adventure. If you crave plants in sharp lines with colourful tags in alpha order by common name according to preferred living arrangements, stay home. However, should you want a little walk on the wild side and want to discover something a little better than what your best friend has in her garden - don't delay, get a really good map and get yourself up to this treasure in Acton Ontario.
Not only are there hoop houses to troll through; benches with an abundance of surprises; there are demonstration gardens showing just how large and wonderful the plants are going to be. Here's Barry, camera in hand along one of the shaded pathways.
I don't know how they've managed to keep everything so green and wonderfully lush looking despite the heat and drought conditions.
Here's Pat and Julie with some of our haul. Pat travels with the Lost Horizon catalogue whenever she visits - not only is she charming, but handy too!
After a drive and a lunch we arrived back in Fergus to Little Tree Nursery. I took this photo to show that even though Barry doesn't talk about or own an annual - he spends a good part of his nursery time maintaining them - can you believe how wonderful these baskets are. The rest of the nursery is full of woodies and interesting perennials - looking equally as good as these annuals in spite of the fierce conditions this summer.
N.B. Nothing was injured in the taking of this photograph, the wires suspending Barry 3 inches above his garden were removed in post production.
Shortly before 4:00, I took the side roads back to Oakville - about a 1 hour plus drive. Such a beautiful drive down 29 - the farms are gorgeous.
Kevin had dinner started and I'd just enough time to take a tour of my own garden and start to make preliminary decisions about where everything was going to go. This black swallowtail seemed to be following me everywhere.
A very awkward photo of a painted lady. And below, Wasabi solenostemon (from Loblaw) looking pretty darn good considering the heat and lack of water.
For those of you with Gerbera daisies - I've thrown this one in the basement over the past 2 winters watering it once month or so - look how beautifully it comes back with a little watering, heat and fertilizer.
World's most foolish looking Hydrangea 'Lemon Wave'.
I continue to be impressed with this new Hosta 'Whee' from Proven Winners.
Hydrangea quercifolia 'Diane' blushing.
Anyone remember the last scene of 'Dr Strangelove' - something about this bee that reminds me of the Slim Pickens character riding the bomb.
Too big to get inside, look how he gets what he wants out of the hosta bloom - a nice little hole by my finger.
All in all it was a lovely day - new friends, new plants - it's all good. So I'll leave you with one more photo of Bart taking it all in and as luck would have it he's pointing roughly to where my new Lost Horizons Acanthus hungaricus will be planted today (lower nose by about 10cm (4")).