Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Weekend of Garden Tours

I've become quite the little tour trollop.  I went Through the Garden Gates in both Forest Hill and Oakville on Saturday and Sunday.  In Toronto, Peggy and I found the 19 gardens were far more manageable than the whack they had on last year - and one of the best parts was that you really could walk the whole thing.  We stepped onto the bus twice just because it was there.  We started on the dot of 11:00 and were done by 3:00 - unlike last year where at 4:45 we were still scrambling knowing that we weren't going to be able to do it all.  Lots more photography rules this time - no houses, and in some cases no photography at all.  I've got little bits of corners of homes when there were gardens in front.

This was in South Hill on a little cul de sac.  Can just imagine the parties you could have on this lawn - what an elegant setting.

What a great wiggly stone wall.   It continued throughout the backyard, and made a brilliant backdrop to the plants.

Oh for my suit and a pair of water wings.

Most of the gardens were exceptionally serious.  This was one of the few with a bit of whimsy.

 Lovely weathered cedar - look at the new piece done on the other side in exactly the same style.  Five more years and it will all look the same.

Here's the other side with a nice little sculpture.

Pay no attention to the disembodied hand.  A front court yard.

Can't you just see all those new gardeners going to the store looking for that blue phlox.....  The plumbago is put in a greenhouse and replanted every year.

Such beautiful peonies.

One of the few gardens you had to wait to get into.

Every single inch was covered in stone/pool/teak/etc.

They had a roof top garden on the garage.

And this was the garage - you went through and voila found yourself in a completely different world.

Nothing like wisteria on a really strong frame.

So, as you may know, I'm a big one for showing gardens that aren't on the tour.  No rules about photographing these homes...  The reason why I've included this is for you to take a look at the clipped hedges - perfection, but if you enlarge the photo - look at the lawn - without the ability to use pesticides - looks like there's really very little to be done about the violets all through the lawn.  So, do you change your style of gardening, or cling onto something you really can't do the way it should be done?

Again, not on the tour, but what lovely woody plant material.

Lots of landscapers were charging around the 'hood fixing up the pots (bringing in preplanted plastic pots that were sunk into the permanent fancy pots) - lots of colour in use this year.

Then on Sunday, it was the Oakville Tour.   Pictured here (l/r) is Joan, Janet (owner), Beryl and Jean.  We assembled for photos before the crowds arrived.  Joan, Beryl and I were hosts, taking tickets, and pointing out plants.

Janet is an avid gardener and loves to collect Japanese Maples.

I believe this one is called 'Shirazz'.

The owners go to such an effort to make their gardens look beautiful.  This is Janet's side garden.

Even her little work bench had a few blossoms.

Nearer to the lake was this Juergen Partridge landscape package that made good use of the narrow-depth backyard.

This garden on Third was neat and sweet.

There was a matching patch of perennials on the other side of the front door.

Two more of our splendid volunteers Sonja and Margaret pointing out the good stuff in this great garden filled with Hosta and Hemerocallis.

Some of the Hosta were so small you could take them home with a spoon.

The owner did his own needlepoint cushions, and had them throughout the seating areas.

A United Empire Loyalist - decal on car, flag on post.  U.A.L. were Americans (70,000 according to Wikipedia) who came to Canada after the war of independence who were faithful to the King in the late 1700s.

Would love to go back to see the daylilies.

Lots of bright happy colours.

The pond.

So nice to see the sun after all the dull cold days we've been having.

I'm thinking I'd like some white Allium in my garden too.

The furthest west property was a whizz-bang full of everything located in a new development.  Lovely large homes.  Frontage big enough for the home, but in this case, it fanned out so the owner had 2/3rds of an acre, and he didn't stop until he had one of everything.  The pool.

The fireplace.

A lovely patio area.

Next to a sun room where they'll be able to enjoy the garden year-round.

Long borders of perennials and shrubs.

A quiet area of contemplation.  And it was all perfectly taken care of - quite a showpiece.

Then onto one of my favourites - lots of personality and completely done by the owners.  They have created a little fairy wonderland - and even had a little book that the owner had written and illustrated so you could go around and find where the fairies lived.

No grass in the front yard - just plants rocks and the odd....


John told me that May is a really busy month in his garden - weeding and primping.

The back garden has raised beds for the veggies and his annuals and biennials.  He had some choice words for some racoons that had devoured most of his Canterbury Bells.

Little vignettes throughout the garden.

How's this for a pretty little shed?

Here's John explaining some of the garden to visitors.

I asked if I could take his photo in his favourite spot - the spot where he likes to sit in his garden.  So back to the front veranda we went, where he said - he rarely sits in the garden, but at the beginning or end of the day - this is exactly where he likes to be.

So, all in all - a more manageable Toronto Tour, a much improved Oakville Tour - and several tickets in my purse for the weekends to come.  So far, it's been a Tourific Gardening Season.


Jennifer said...

Interesting to see a few highlights from the Oakville tour. You got a great picture of #248 on the Through the Garden Gate. Mine ended up a bit dark. I couldn't decide if I liked the very contemporary garden. All in all I think it was a good tour this year.

Barbarapc said...

I really liked #248 as well - so very well done - and that woodwork...it's only money and some very talented workers. I agree, it was a really good tour, am looking forward to seeing Hoggs Hollow next year - should be completely different sorts of gardens.