Monday, June 17, 2013

Sandria's Garden


"You should come and see this garden on my postal route", my hubby said to me one day when we met for lunch, "I think you'd like it." I thought of the neighbourhood of primarily small, post-war houses that I had only ever seen in the depth of winter and tried to imagine which house he could possibly mean. 

Though I didn't recall a place with anything more than a rudimentary garden, hubby seemed so confident I agreed to let him take me there when he finished his afternoon's work. 

The gardener was not home when we showed up completely unannounced. Just her husband was there to give me permission to take pictures. 

Red Coral Bells

It is interesting that you can get an immediate sense of a person you have never had the chance to meet when you wander through their garden. Right away, I could tell that this was a person who really knew something about plants and had a knack for mixing colors and textures. I wasn't surprised when her husband told us that she had studied horticulture at Humber College and had graduated with honours. "She laid most of the stonework herself.", he told us proudly.

Sandria and I caught up a few days later by phone. Sandria brought her love of flowers to Canada with her from her native Barbados. Though she works as a nurse by day, gardening is one of her true passions. 

Let's take a wonder through Sandria's little gem of a garden. 

This is the planting along the front of the property leading into the back gate. 

(That's a tricolor Beech on the right, a Japanese Maple in the middle and a Viburnum trilobum by the back gate. Below the trees and shrubs are Lady's Mantle in the centre and a few patches of Creeping Jenny.)

The gate opens to a pathway that leads into the back garden.

Just inside the gate.

A small island obstructs your view of the main part of the garden 
making what comes next a bit of a surprise.

This is the garden in a nutshell. To the left behind the hedge there is a swimming pool. Though my picture makes it look vast, the garden is really quite modest in size. 


Geranium cantabrigiense 'Biockovo'

Viburnum trilobum has lovely red berries as a bonus after the flowers are finished.

Sandria has a really nice assortment of Japanese Maples throughout her garden. She named Vineland Nurseries as one of her sources.

Cinnamon Fern, Osmunda cinnamomea

A big thank you to my husband for spotting this pretty little garden and to 
Sandria and her husband for allowing me to photograph it. 


  1. My goodness, it's beautiful, Jennifer!
    You can see just how much love has gone into the creation of this.
    Kudos to hubby for spotting it!

  2. This is a real gem of a garden which your hubby found. The maples and the tricolor beech are especially beautiful.

  3. Absolutely stunning. Do you have any idea what variety of Hosta is the lime variegated one in the 7th photo? It's gorgeous!!!

  4. Just a lovely sanctuary...I am sure the gardener was surprised and pleased to have you visit!!

  5. How beautiful. I love that she reveals the garden slowly. So much interest and texture. And wow - those columbine are huge! I love the blue pots with the black foliage.

  6. I'm someone who is often tempted to ring doorbells to say, "can I see your garden?" so I definitely relate to this story. Just lovely.

  7. There are so many lovely additions to this little garden - I'm taken with the white geranium and the cinnamon fern - should make sure I add those to my wish list. Sometimes great things come in small packages after all.

  8. Being from Barbados I would have expected Sandria to have attempted to recreate a feel of the islands in her garden, but I see she has embraced more northerly species, and has created a very fine garden.

  9. I'm so glad your husband spotted this garden! What a little gem. I cannot believe Sandria laid the stonework herself. What tedious back-breaking work. She did it so well - it looks fantastic. Her plantings are beautifully laid out and she has an excellent collection of unique specimens.

  10. What a lovely garden your husband found for you to enjoy. Sometimes small is best although your photos made it seem as if it goes on forever! Sandria certainly has the gift of being able to combine plants to form an interesting tapestry, she has made a wonderfully peaceful garden, a retreat from the busy world.

  11. A restful, pretty spot in a small area, and every detail fits perfectly. The use of accents and stones is just right, not overwhelming for the space. I love that last picture. And I love how proud the husband was of his wife's talent and work!

  12. Oh well done hubs! A great garden to should have him on garden hunting duty full-time now!!!

    I loved this one and you have made it look huge. It's also really calming and well planned. I also LOVE columbine.xxxx

  13. Beautiful garden, Sandra is great gardener!
    I love stonework, hostas and the garden decorations- sculptures and vases.
    Have a nice week!

  14. A real gem ! I love those paths, they have taken many dedicated hours of work!

  15. The verdant lushness of eastern Canada in late spring always amazes me. The climate is so very different from my own, with most everything asleep in winter, and then in a few months this amazing surge of gorgeous growth everywhere. A wonderful garden, even more impressive given that the gardener had to learn a whole new climate and plant palette for her art.

    Now when Mr. Husband says he's found a garden for you, you'll grab the camera and go? :) Fantastic photos as well.

  16. What a lovely garden, and beautifully laid out, thank you for the tour!

  17. Jennifer this is a well loved garden indeed!
    I love seeing a "real" gardener's garden .. one that has been hard work but so loved at the same time.
    Since I am a Japanese Maple fan I really liked that Sandria has quite a few too!
    How funny that your husband "found" this little gem for you to take pictures of so we can appreciate it as well. Thank you to your hubby ;-)
    I totally LOVED how you described my red poppy lady taking off her red satin dress and ready to retire for the night .. that was such a perfect way to picture what had happened ! Too cute !
    Joy : )
    Beautiful photos !

  18. I like this garden with the mature feel to it - it definitely looks somewhere you could relax and take in all the different aspects - well done to hubby for spotting it and you for your lovely pictures.

  19. Thank you to both you and your husband. What a pretty little garden. She really does know her stuff. Good flow and so many pretty flowers to look at. How nice to meet another fellow gardener.

  20. What a beautiful garden! It may be small, but it certainly looks huge here--Sandria has filled it with so many lovely plants. This reminds me of a garden I toured last year on our annual Garden Walk. I had driven down this road of modest homes several times, never suspecting what lay behind one--a large and mature Japanese Garden. How nice of your husband to lead you to Sandria's garden.


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