Friday, February 8, 2013

The Back Garden



In my last post, we looked at Karen's front garden. Now, let's head around to the back of the house.


As we stroll down the walkway, we pass under a vine covered arbor.


Just outside the side entrance to the house, there is a bench that gets used 
when summer meals are prepared on the adjacent barbecue.


Looking back the way we have come.


The pathway continues right around to the back of the house. 

As you can see here, Karen faced a number of big challenges when it came to her back garden. For one thing, the land slopes fairly steeply away from the house. 

To compensate, a set of steps were installed to lead visitors down the hill and into the main part of the woodland garden.


Rather than struggling the property's attributes, Karen took advantage of the hillside and had Clearwater Ponds install a waterfall and small pond.


Mature trees also meant Karen had to contend with full shade when it came to selecting plants and shrubs for the backyard. 

A series of stepping stones invite you to explore the cool, more shaded pockets of the garden on hot summer days.


 At the foot of waterfall and small goldfish pond, there is a nice area for summer meals.


The yard is entirely open with no fencing along the garden's perimeter. This helps the backyard to feel expansive, but it also means that there isn't a lot of privacy.  

To make the dining area feel a bit more secluded, a square lattice was built, and then covered with clematis (I am not meaning to suggest that clematis are shade-loving, because generally, they aren't. A chance break in the canopy of trees makes the clematis possible here.)



The far end of the garden opens up again into sunlight.


Astrantia in half-shade at the edge of the woodland garden.


Here, Karen created a circular potager with flowers, herbs, a few vegetables and rhubarb. 
(Pink Astilbe on the right.)




I hope you have enjoyed this little tour. What I think we can all take away from Karen's garden is the inspiration to truly embrace your property's attributes and turn any negatives into positives.

Have a great weekend everyone!

35 comments:

  1. Gorgeous! I am in love with this backyard garden, a true sanctuary. The pond, the clematis, arbours and pathways; so many wonderful ideas.

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  2. Oh sigh - so absolutely lovely!

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  3. Hi Jennifer! This is my first time visiting your blog. These gardens are just breathtaking! All of the plants look so healthy and the design is wonderful. I also read that you have three dogs. We share our home and gardens with six kids, I mean dogs! I look forward to visiting your blog again!

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    1. Wow, 6 dogs! And I agree they are just like kids!

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  4. Karen is a very talented and hard working gardener and it really shows. Her property is an absolute delight! The plantings combine so well with one another, that the overall effect is one of unity and harmony. Stunning. Congratulate her, if you know her in person.

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    1. I only met her briefly, but I have her email address and will pass on all the compliments.

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  5. This is an inspired back yard. Everything ties together -- it has real flow -- going from a shady space to an opening to the potager. How nicely and naturally it links. What is the small tree in the center of the potager?

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    1. I blew up the picture and I am pretty sure it is a hydrangea. I will let you know if I find out differently.

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  6. As I scrolled down I was thinking how smart Karen was to embrace what she had.
    I need an open space with plenty of sun for my veggies but if I had unlimited land I would wish for a woodland garden too. I love the shadows and moisture and large leaves of ferns and hostas.

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    1. I agree that there is a certain magic to a woodland garden Susan.

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  7. Wow, stunning garden ! Love it !

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  8. Insanely beautiful!!! Is is a regular size lot???

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    1. Hi Nicole, I guess it all depends on what you can regular. Here in the Toronto area you are lucky to get a 40 or 50 foot lot with a new-build home. To get a larger lot, you have to buy an older home. If I compare Karen's backyard to mine to get a sense of proportion, I would guess her lot is wider than ours ( say a little over 50 ft) and not quite as deep (maybe 100ft?).

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    2. Wow...all of her beds and plantings make it feel very large! I suppose it is because the boundaries of the property are masked by all of the beautiful plants...simply amazing!

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  9. Lovely backyard, like the waterfall to the pond and the circular potager. They really made a beautiful design, everything is in it.

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  10. What a wonderful backyard. It must be a joy to wander through and sit in.

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  11. Incredibly beautiful garden and photos. Makes me wish for spring even harder!

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  12. Karen is a really talented gardener - the pictures you took are superb and show the garden off beautifully - truly a garden to aspire to.

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  13. Karen has a very pretty property. I really like how she does her paths especially. I checked out the front yard too. She is a very talented gardener and great colorist.

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  14. Wow, fantastic! Especially the arbor and stream. And the clematis. Great pictures, too.

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  15. Jennifer, thank you for sharing this awesome Karen's garden!
    I love her arbors with vines, the pond: I can feel the water sound!

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  16. So pretty! I cannot wait for spring!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  17. I want to trade gardens with her! The waterfall, the clematis, the astilbe, the roses! Places to look, places to sit, places to walk. She has it all - and all so beautifully connected and intertwined. Fantastic!

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  18. Loved this tour. It made me crave a little bit of shade in my own yard. and a better spot to sit and enjoy my garden. She did a great job placing seating in this yard.

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  19. This is really such a beautiful place. It looks like so much work (and love) has gone into this.
    I absolutely LOVE that arbor!

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  20. Your pictures are stunning especially the clematis...wow!!!!

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  21. What an amazing garden! I don't think I"d ever come in inside if that were my garden. I really really want a pond - a real pond, not just a sad little bucket stuck in the ground. I'll take her waterfall, too.

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  22. So beautiful ! Those clematis are stunning . She must be a happy lady :) Thanks Jenny for the virtual tour. Wishing you a lovely sunday and a good weak ahead. Greetings from Greece !

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  23. So dreamy, such a beautiful place! :)

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  24. Good Morning! I arrived here via your comment on Garden Walk Garden Talk's post about blogging and just love your photos (especially the clematis), they're excellent. I added you to my subscription list in my Google Reader and look forward to your future posts.

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  25. \such a beautiful garden - an inspiration, indeed.

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  26. Fantastic garden Jennifer. I wish I had a one like that.
    Have a wonderful week ahead.

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  27. Sigh, I would like Karen to help me with my garden. Just as beautiful in the back as the front.

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  28. Oh my gosh !!
    This would be my ideal garden .. it is so beautiful!
    I wanted to stop by and say "hey .. my Valentine's Day was much the same too Jennifer .. nice, low keyed and comfortable. Just what we need right now ! LOL
    Joy : )

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  29. Arbors and pathways create such wonderful garden rooms. I like your friend's garden as you go from one area to another, each is really inviting. I could spend a good amount of time on that glider(?) near the barbeque. She really has a nice pond feature, looks like it belongs.

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