Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Lost Garden

The first time I visited this garden, the rain was falling by the bucket load. One whole section of the yard was under several inches of water and walking on the lawn was like slogging across a sponge saturated with cold water.

Imagine struggling to focus a camera while juggling an umbrella. I thought that I dressed for the weather, but even with my umbrella, I was quickly soaked through. 

The formal pond and some beautifully trellised fencing.

An overview of the garden in late May 2017. The layout is quite formal and the plantings are largely green. The combination of these two design elements creates an overall feeling of elegance.

The garden was so pretty, I resolved to battle city traffic to make a second attempt at taking pictures.

On my second visit, the sun was blazing in a cloudless sky and the heat had been cranked up to high–a fresh set of challenges making it less than ideal for great photos, but hey, I did my best.

June 2017

Usually, I download my pictures as soon as I get home, but I was busy that day, so I put it off. Then I somehow managed to misplace the camera's memory card. I searched my camera bag, all my pockets and tore apart my desk looking for that darn memory card! Eventually, I gave up searching and resolved never to be so careless again.

Not too long ago, I was rifling through some plant tags when a memory card dropped onto the desk in front of me. I couldn't believe it! The missing card had been stuck to the back of one of my tags.

So finally, almost two years later, I will now show you the garden I photographed back in June 2017.

"The house was built in 1914," the homeowner tells me. "It's an Edwardian house and we've tried to mirror that in the garden. The period of the house is reflected in the wire planters, the Alice in Wonderland figures in the round garden behind the garage, the gazebo made from an early elevator cage and some old-fashioned plants; peonies, daisies, delphinium, columbines, roses, lavender, iris, violets and ivy topiaries."

"We have lived here for more than 30 years, and our two children grew up here. The playhouse had been moved and converted into a potting shed; the swings came down years ago; now even the basketball hoop is gone, so there is more room to garden."

The entrance to the Alice in Wonderland garden is flanked by two tall metal obelisks. 

Shade Planting: 1. Solomon Seal 2. Brunnera 'Jack Frost' 3. Hellebore 4. Heuchera 5. Lamb's Ear, Stachys byzantina ( a non-flowering form of Lamb's Ears) 6. Coral Bells, Heuchera

The flower-filled birdbath in the Alice in Wonderland shade garden.

The vintage elevator cage.

Looking for something you can plant under a tree with a high canopy (i.e. part-shade)? Here's what this homeowner has planted: 1. Yew 2. Hydrangea arborescens (Unknown cultivar) 3. Solomon's Seal, Polygonatum 4. Hosta 5. Boxwood 6. Hydrangea paniculata standard 

"We share the garden with lots of birds, squirrels, chipmunks and racoons. We feed and house the birds with pleasure; we tolerate and are amused by the antics of the squirrels and we are annoyed by the numerous racoons that live between the garages that abut the property, " the homeowner muses. 

Siberian Iris

"Most of the garden. is in partial shade, so you'll find various shade-loving plants. Many of them have come from a nursery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, including a selection of mini-hostas along the walkway to the potting shed", explains the homeowner.

Here the trellis adds an extra measure of privacy over and
 above the fence at the back of the property.

A Deutzia shrub in part-shade.

You'll have noticed that the color palette of this garden is quite restrained.

"We try to keep the colors to green, white and blue, but you'll also find the occasional pink and mauve, and we planted a Forsythia for color in the spring. Most of the plants are perennials, but the pots contain annuals, as does the bed alongside the garage," says the homeowner.

One of the new varieties of patio clematis in a decorative pot. I think this was added as a quick pop of color. Clematis generally require full sun. Eventually, this Clematis would need to be moved to a sunnier spot.

An exquisite metal plant stand filled to the brim with clay pots, herbs, strawberries 
and annual flowers.

I think you'll agree that this Edwardian garden is understated and quite elegant. Hopefully, it has been worth the two-year wait just to see it.


  1. Great photos and a wonderful article! I love the part about the homeowner sharing with the animals. That old elevator and wire stand are simply beautiful! Laura

    1. Yes, I like the reuse of the elevator cage and the plant stand too. Each adds a unique touch to the garden.

  2. What a pretty garden! I'm so happy it's Springtime again!!!

    1. Me too Anne! The snow is almost gone here with patches clinging to just a few shady spots. I hope we've seen the last of the snow for this year, but I caution myself that we had snow mid-April last year.

  3. Oh what beautiful photos of a lovely garden

  4. So glad you found that memory card, Jennifer. What a lovely garden--so many beautiful focal points and little nooks! So glad you went back for more photos to share with us. That plant stand is amazing, too.

    1. I was quite thrilled to find that chip. It had two gardens I had never shown plus images of my own garden.

  5. Terrific photos, thank you for sharing. It's amazing how delicate and nuanced the garden is with such little occasional splashes of color. The dappled shade and various shades of green give the whole garden such an amazing texture and look to it. Very cool.

    1. Over the years, I have come to really appreciate a largely green garden. They always feel so quiet and relaxing.

  6. Oh my gosh what a stunning garden!! I could spend all day there!


I love to hear from you. Thanks for leaving a comment.