Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tomatoes in the Front Garden? Hey, why not!


I am always on the lookout for gardens that are unique and original. 

Today, I want to share with you the garden of a local homeowner who has managed to use traditional boxwood hedges in an interesting and contemporary way.


In compliment to the clean, modern lines of the house, the sweeping curves of boxwood hedging frame the plantings and give them a pleasing sense of order.

Three statuesque bunches of Feather Reed Grass, Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'  
stand at the top of the front garden.

Here you can see the garden straight-on. On the garden's outer perimeter, a curved line of stone pavers delineates the flowerbed's outside edge and separates it from the lawn.

One great thing about boxwood hedging is that its evergreen. When the perennials die back to the ground in late fall, the green hedges will still add interest and structure throughout the long Canadian winter.



Plantings in the front garden include a range of geraniums, sedum, heuchera, stonecrop, poppy, spirea, alliums, and even some tomatoes. My picture isn't the best, but those are tomatoes to the left.

A passageway between the house and garage leads to the backyard. Here, there is a stone patio with an overhanging pergola.


Mature trees mean that there is more shade in the back garden: 
perfect for the mix of hostas that you see here (with a peony in behind them).


A standout feature of the back garden is this bench and pergola.

Here is the view of this little seating area and the garden in front of it 
as seen from the centre of the yard.


Again, a curved line of boxwood hedging is employed at the back of the house.

A path of stone pavers leads visitors to a shaded table and chairs.


What a nice place to sit on a hot summer's day!

37 comments:

  1. Jennifer, that's so beautiful that I'm speechless! Happy Tuesday!

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  2. Lovely and unique gardens do you show us. The sweeping curves of the boxwood in comparison with the modern house is just gorgeous. I like this very much.

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  3. Perfect!!! I have been looking for gardens like this as I map out a spot for my veggies up front!! Such a lovely design!

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  4. Jennifer, Curious about the boxwood and quite can't tell from your photos - are they the same size on each row, but with the elevation changing, or have they performed this magic with clippers? I'm a firm believer in planting plants where they'll grow best, and if the only spot is for the veg is in the front - there they must go, but with style and elegance. And, nothing better than being able to pass them and grab a few on your way home from work.
    Barbarapc

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    1. Barbara, I am going from memory here: I believe that the hedges were clipped to the same height. There was a slight slope to the front garden and that helps to create the look of descending heights.

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  5. Gorgeous garden and I simply love the idea of growing tomatoes between flowers !!! Thank you so much, Jennifer !!!

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  6. Hmmm.... I'm going to be a voice of dissent in this post. While I'm a huge believer in "It's your garden. Do what you want", which ultimately renders my opinion obsolete, the curvy boxwood hedges and mixture of round/conical shrubs in the back feels too geometric to me. But I do have great appreciation for their willingness to plant veggies in the front. I also like the way they used curved lines to beak up how square the house is. So while this isn't a style I'd like to replicate, I admire their willingness to stick to their own sense of what works. Because what works for one, doesn't work for another. :o)

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  7. Hi Jennifer. I really like this garden. I'm usually not crazy about shrubs that are pruned, but I think this really works. Boy the work that must go into pruning those boxwoods. I also enjoy seeing veges mixed with flowers. Probably because I really like cottage gardens (like mine) and traditional cottage gardens usually had this feature. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

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  8. What an unusual and beautiful garden. There must be a fair bit of pruning that goes on to keep it so lovely.

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  9. I really like the use of curved lines and boxwoods in this garden. Very different and complements the house.

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  10. What a great garden! The tidy feel, clean lines and distinctly separate areas really appeal to me, I have done something similar in my own garden, although on a much smaller scale – and I have ditched the lawn completely in favour of much more plants. But there are many great tips to pick up on these photos, thanks for sharing!

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  11. Wonderful garden design, very inspirational. I like the idea of growing vegetables as ornamentals. I know if I would do this, I'd take better care of the tomatoes than I do when they are relegated to the 'vegetable garden'. Beautiful pruning work on the boxwoods, I would need a training guide to get them so perfect.

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  12. I love it! I absolutely love a boxwood hedge, and paired with such diverse and lush plantings, this garden is fabulous. And as you pointed out, it would not look good in winter without the evergreen backbone of the boxwoods.

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  13. Hi Jennifer,

    Lovely gardens you’ve captured in your last few posts.
    My husband and I both grew up in Southern Ontario – as I gaze at your photos of lush leafy tree canopies, boxwood hedges, hostas spilling onto pathways, English ivy, Japanese maples and perennial gardens bursting from their beds, I’m filled with such nostalgia. I can’t help wondering if I’d discovered my love of gardening a few years earlier, if I’d ever have moved away. Now I must be content to garden in zone 3b – crazy cold winters, hot dry summers, Chinooks, and brutal summer hailstorms can make gardening a challenge I don’t always feel up for.
    Anyways, enough whining – I’m visiting home this summer and will be in the GTA for several days so would like to fit some photo shoots in. Are the private gardens you’ve profiled open to the public?

    Thanks,
    Sue

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    1. Hi Sue, I am sorry the last few gardens I have shown are all private homes and not open to the public. Have you ever been to Lost Horizons in Acton? How about the Music Garden right on the waterfront? I always love visiting Edwards Gardens and the RBG in Hamilton. ( see previews in my More Ontario Gardens below the header)

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    2. Thanks Jennifer - I'll of course be visiting the RBG and Music Garden, but thanks for the other suggestions too. Just hope I have enough time - so much to see, so many photos to take!
      S.

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  14. I think this is lovely and I wish my garden was more like this than the boring garden I have. Sigh..!

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  15. This is a very beautiful garden. I love the boxwood, the stonepath and especially the bench and pergola.
    This is a garden that also looks good in winter.

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  16. What a lovely garden, I wish mine looked like that. I don't even have a lawn at the moment due to my young dogs running. I love box and would love a hedge like that, it's so expensive though....sighs....xxxxx

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  17. I see a pergola with a bench in my future!! Thanks for the tour of this lovely space!

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  18. What an interesting garden...I love the curving box in front with the variety of perennials and edibles...

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  19. I normally do not like clipped boxwood, but I love the idea of combining the boxwood with tomatoes.

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  20. Jennifer you asked about foxgloves re-seeding ~ I think mine don't self seed because historically I've planted them near edges and paths so they tend to lean over and drop their seeds where they will be mowed. Plus, and perhaps even more importantly, I lay down a lot of compost in the fall and that probably buries the seeds too deeply for them to germinate.

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    1. Thanks so much Sweetbay for popping back in with the answer to my foxglove question. I will also bear in mind that the seeds should not be planted too deeply.

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    2. Hi Jennifer
      I have recently been collecting fox glove seeds recently and discovered they are as fine as dust. I just sprikle them on top of the ground and leave them. Some come up, so don't and the ones in the wrong place, I move when they get a bit bigger.

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    3. Thanks for the tip about not planting them too deeply Sandi. I will definitely keep this in mind.

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  21. This person has a real eye for creating a garden, it has an "estate" look to it and it's definitely got me thinking of using boxwoods. I also love the pergola area and stone pavers spot too. So much to be inspired by!

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  22. Jennifer a lovely garden obviously the homeowner was very inspired.

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  23. With all the perfect gardens that you show in your area it is like looking through the pages of Ideal Homes and Gardens - I wonder if they are all maintained by the people themselves or do they have gardeners to keep them looking so pristine.

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  24. You always show the most beautiful gardens on earth. I love the litte seat in the shadow. The differents in the light in the garden are great.
    Have a wonderful day Jennifer.

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  25. This a very lovely garden created by a very creative gardener! Of course, it's OK to have tomatoes in the front garden. Probably it's the best spot for sun exposure, but the way they have disguised it with the boxwood hedges, you'd never guess the veggies are there.
    The backyard also has a lot of wonderful design features - a path leading to the patio area, the pergola and bench as a major focal point. etc. I really enjoyed this tour - thanks, Jennifer!

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  26. Unusual and amazing garden, that really is suitable for the house. Family have good taste. Thanks for the tour and pictures !

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  27. Thanks for sharing! The gardens you post about are inspiring :)

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  28. One of the nicest front yards I've seen in awhile. Thanks for the share.

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  29. Love the pictures of your dogs playing. I always think a garden without pets is missing something.

    Like the winding box hedge too. Here in Melbourne (Australia) we have so many gardens of straight box hedge and Iceberg roses. I am SO SICK OF THEM as they are so boring. I get really excited when I see something different!

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