I think it was all the pops of vivid orange and red that caught my eye as we drove by: the trumpet vine on the side of the house, the bright geraniums in terra cotta pots and the Mountain Ash berries in the distance.
Even though we had a full day already planned, I resolved to come back to the garden in the early evening and ask if I could take some pictures.
The house which overlooks the Grand River in the small town of Fergus, Ontario was built by a carriage maker in the 1890's. The present homeowners lovingly renovated and updated their historic home over the course of a several years.
As you will see in the next few shots, the property rolls gently down to the river gorge. Locally quarried stone was used to terrace the slope and to make a stairway that leads down from the house at street level.
On the first terrace, a lovely walled garden was created.
At the far end of the garden a trellised wall helps disguise the neighbour's garage. Incorporated into the plantings are peonies, Rudbeckia, sedum, daylilies and Butterfly Bush.
A closer look at the Rudbeckia and Butterfly Bushes.
Here there are several Spirea bushes (pink flowers) interplanted with Sedum
and Lamium (the purple flowers at ground level).
That is a Trumpet Vine on the side of the house.
Another staircase leads down from the walled garden to the yard at the back of the house.
A dashed line of stones leads to the back door and to the formal garden
which you will see in upcoming photographs.
Lady's Mantle, alchemilla mollis: is a great foliage plant whose velvety leaves always manage to catch water droplets in the most beautiful way. Lady's Mantle has sprays of chartreuse flowers in early summer. Cut back the plant after it flowers to rejuvenate the foliage and keep the plant looking tidy.
Height: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 2-9
This was my favourite part of the garden.
To the left of a stone walkway that runs through the centre of a large, rectangular formal garden, there a central diamond-shaped flowerbed framed at each corner with a triangular shaped bed.
On the right there were a series of rectangular beds for vegetables and herbs. The more I see examples of this mixed planting style, the more I admire it when fruit, flowers, vegetables and herbs are all mixed in together.
Pretty and productive seem to compliment one another so perfectly.
Campanula punctata (on the left). Be warned: Clumps can spread vigorously! If you like the look of this plant, Campanula persicifolia is a similar, but much less aggressive option.
The homeowner was in the midst of revamping her flowerbeds, but even so, they looked
wonderful in the warm light of late evening.
A tall Oriental lily is surrounded with blue perennial Cornflowers or
Mountain Bluet, Centaurea montana.
Mountain Bluet, Centaurea montana: has soft greyish-green foliage and blue flowers in early summer. Full sun or light shade. It will grow in most soil types and will tolerate both dry and moist conditions. Cut back hard after it first flowers to rejuvenate the foliage and encourage new flowers. This plant can self-seed prolifically. Height: 45-60 cm (18-24 in), Spread: 38-45 cm (15-18 inches). USDA Zones: 2-9
A view to the back of the house.
Tomatoes in the foreground with Oregano, Lamb's Ears and magenta colored Phlox in behind.
A tall ornamental grass on the left and Oregano in flower on the right.
Just behind the formal garden is a large outbuilding that has been renovated and made
into a guesthouse.
Obedient Plant, Physostegia virginiana
Obedient Plant, Physostegia virginiana: produces showy flower spikes in colors of white, pink or purple. It grows in most soil types and can become invasive. Plant it with caution and only in an area where it can't run wild. Sun to part shade. Height; 60-90 cm ( 24-36 in), Spread 18+ cm ( 45+ inches). USDA Zones: 3-10.
This is a large patch of Oregano in the foreground.
Astilbe on the right.
A set of stone sets leads down to the banks of the Grand River.
Geraniums in pots add a dash of bright color.
Under the broad limbs of mature trees, the riverbank area is quite shady. The plantings here incorporate an interesting mix of hosta, Periwinkle, Astilbe and some sedum for late summer color.
One really hot summer nights, the homeowners sometimes sleep in the guesthouse where the
bedroom has a nice view of the Grand River.
Just outside the guesthouse is a generous patio area with chairs and a picnic bench.
Unfortunately the homeowner was unsure of the name for this beautiful Clematis.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!