Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Long Narrow Space becomes a Beautiful Garden

Located just a few short steps from her three shops in the small town of Markdale, Ontario, this homeowner has a commute to work that most of us would envy. Her handsome red brick house with its dramatic black shutters and gleaming white porch is just south of the town's main shopping area.

At the front of the three-story house, the raised garden beds include an assortment of tidy, mounded planting materials in a red, green and gold color palette that works perfectly with the home's brick exterior. 

Annual begonias and coleus add interest throughout the gardening season and 
sedum keeps the color going well into the fall.

What impressed me most about this back garden however, was the fact that the homeowner has managed to design a beautiful garden in a rather unusual space. Here are just a few of the challenges she faced in creating her garden:

1. The back garden is a long, narrow area and overlookes a parking lot of all things. 
2. At the back of the yard, there was the remains of an old stone foundation. 
3. The yard sloped down in varying degrees towards the parking area.

So, what did she do? 

Well, she created a walkway paralleling the parking area and installed a retaining wall to border the garden. Instead of removing the old foundation, she turned the stone wall into a feature, even to the point of installing a window box on a former window casing. The old foundation also became a support for climbing vines and shrubs.

A fun, whimsical detail.

Adjacent to the seating area, the homeowner has planted a pretty mix of dark burgundy (Purple Smoke bush 'Cotinus coggygria'), pink (echinacea) and white (hydrangea).

It just goes to show you that you can do a lot, even with an unusual space.

I am going to link this post to the Creative Exchange. To see other great images, please click the link. On Thursday, I will link to Cottage Floral Thursday and on Friday, I will link to Fertilizer Friday at Tootsie Time. To see other pretty gardens in bloom, please click the link.


  1. Jennifer, as soon as I saw the first picture I knew I would love this garden. Probably because brick houses are so uncommon in places I have lived but I have this irrational fondness for them. Add to that this unique and inspiring garden and I'm enthralled.

  2. These photographs are just gorgeous Jennifer, and what a talented gardner!! This had to have been truly a dream to photograph.

    Thank you so much for sharing this today at The Creative Exchange.

    Sending you wishes for a wonderful day!


  3. What a creative gardener...and beautiful home and garden. It takes a lot of imagination to go from where she started to what you have shown today. She is also very knowledgeable about plant color and position, and artistic. Such a pleasure to see this. Thank you.

  4. What a delightful garden! The old foundation wall is such a wonderful feature that has been most creatively incorporated into the over all design of this charming garden. The plant choices are lovely and everything works together so well! Thank you for sharing this charming space with us!

  5. The neighbors and passersby must never grow tired of looking at this lovely garden. The owner has done a wonderful job in creating something she can enjoy and something that adds to the curb appeal of neighborhood.

  6. What a spectacular garden........ so much packed into a small area.... wonderful inspiration.

  7. Jennifer,

    This is a delightful garden, makes me feel better about having a small garden.


  8. This is a very nice garden, though I am surprised to see what I think is Hydrangea macrophylla. I assumed it was too cold up there for that species.

  9. The owner did a remarkable job with the long narrow spacing with the foundation wall. She incorporated so muck color and the functional aspects of a garden as well. Lovely tour Jennifer, thanks for taking us.

  10. Love this house and the gardens, too! I'd love to walk past it each day. The gardens are so inspiring! Thank you for your sweet comment on my Butterfly Dreams post, part two is up now!

  11. I love that house it is the type of place I would love to live in.

  12. A lot of thought went into the design of this garden. There is nothing like a challenge to encourage you to be imaginative.

  13. Very nice. Love that she put a wall for height and seating areas to enjoy it all.

  14. What a gorgeous garden!! The garden of my dreams but it won't be happening down here in Texas...:(
    Love all the pics you took, I can look and drool.

    I'm your newest follower and would love for you to follow me.
    Have a wonderful day!!

  15. Beautiful house and garden! I love the incorporation of the old foundation wall.

  16. I home and garden worth of a magazine spread. Your photos are charming, as always!

  17. Drool! Drool! Drool! I really want that house and garden! But someone else can have the parking lot. ;o) Incredible photos! It's like flipping through an expensive home and garden magazine. Gorgeous!!!

  18. Creative space for sure..it's beautiful!

  19. What a beautiful home & garden Jennifer. It sounds like the owner does indeed have the perfect set up (for work) and definitely made the most of what they had to work with. I LOVE the old wall as an architectural point of interest. I think it adds a lot of character. Beautiful front and back. I bet the inside is just as gorgeous too!


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