" To sit in the shade on a fine day and look across to the verdure is the most perfect refreshment."
For a change of pace, I thought that I would show you two gardens a world away from the garden I last profiled.
Though it seems to hail from a bygone era, this ivy covered house in the heart of Toronto actually dates from the late 1930's.
A grand set of stone steps lead down to a long, narrow terrace, and at either end of the terrace a further set of stairs drop down to a sunken garden.
The steps at one end of the long, narrow terrace.
An eagle watches over the sunken garden.
Located near the centre of the city, the garden's high walls just barely keep out the bustle of traffic on Avenue Road and the somewhat disconcerting noises of the car park next door.
In sharp contrast to its urban surroundings, the sunken garden feels magically leafy and green.
Though it isn't exactly my cup of tea, I think that the introduction of a piece of contemporary art (the twiggy bronze in the foreground) into such a traditional setting makes the space feel more edgy and current.
I thought that this Bottlebrush Buckeye had the most marvellous foliage.
Most of us will never be able to afford house or a garden like this, but the good news is, creating a quiet refuge of one's own is something that calls more for imagination than it does for money.
This is the view from the cobblestone driveway.
The next garden seems to have stepped from the pages of a novel by Jane Austen.
A short stroll across an impeccable lawn brings us to the wrought iron gate at the entrance to a large, walled garden.
Opposite the main house, is the elegant entrance to a guest house.
The flowering vine is a climbing hydrangea.
Just inside the gate of the walled garden.
For some reason this garden puts me in mind of a summer party.
I can imagine ripe strawberries and champagne as part of an elegant, but casual afternoon tea or perhaps a more grand affair with a big tent erected on the lawn, tables laid with crisp, white linen and fresh flowers, women in flirty summer dresses and men in light summer suits.
The falls of these irises look like rich, purple velvet. Behind the irises are the tall, blue spikes of a
Salvia and the soft, pink petals of a peony.
Aren't these deep purple lupins stunning?
As in the first garden we visited, a step of stairs lead from the terrace
down to a sunken garden.
A wide view of the sunken garden.
There is something so restrained about this carefully clipped and manicured garden that it seems to provoke an opposite, slightly-out-of-control emotional response.
Perhaps I have read to many Jane Austen novels or watched too many episodes of Downton Abbey, because I can easily envision the slightly inebriated guests at my imagined summer party might begin to feel a bit giddy or perhaps even a bit reckless as the party extends into the twilight hours of early evening.
Here in the garden is the perfect backdrop for a stolen kiss or the less-than-proper
rendezvous of two star-crossed lovers.
Have a wonderful weekend!