There is not a single blade of grass in our front yard.

At the front of the house, I am lucky enough to be able to garden in full sun.  Here the parade of blooms begins in spring, with the appearance of tulips and ends in fall, with a flourish of blue and purple asters.

This is the garden in June. An arbor stands at the entrance to the front garden and a flagstone path leads you to the front door. That is a "Marjorie Fair" rose on the left and a "Ballerina" rose on the right. Did you notice the evil goutweed peeking out from under the Ballerina rose?

Ample sunlight makes it possible for me to grow roses and peonies in the front flower beds.

I am embarrassed to admit that I do little to deserve the beautiful peonies that grow in my garden. A generous helping of mulch and an application standard fertilizer seems to prompt repayment well beyond what is owed for such a minimal amount of effort.

I don't even stake the big floppy blooms. When they droop with the weight of early summer rains, I ruthlessly cut them instead. I bring the flowers inside, fill many wide mouthed vases, and shamelessly enjoy the very subtle fragrance drifts up from each cluster of flowers.

If the peonies in my front garden are undemanding, my roses all but make more than up for it. They need winter protection, copious amounts of water, regular applications of fertilizer, and protection from insects and disease. Though I love the my David Austin roses, they are the worst offenders. Despite the fact that I cover them during the winter months, these particular roses suffer through the cold Canadian winter only to emerge in spring looking defeated and forlorn. With a good deal of fussing on my part, they limp back into flower. Frankly, there has been many a spring when I have thought of ending this dependent relationship once and for all. Then when the roses open, all is forgiven.

Every day bus loads of kids pass my house on the way to the school up the street. The whimsical birds and birdhouses in my front garden are for them. It is my fondest hope that they will look out that bus window and see something that sparks their imagination.

My Mom carved the robin and the pair of chickadees that sit on the picket fence posts.

The pink rose in this photograph is a David Austin rose called the "Mary Rose".

This is a "Marjorie Fair" Rose. I get more questions from passersby about this rose than any other in my garden. People usually think that it is some kind of new variety of hydrangea.

A great repeat bloomer this delicate pink groundcover rose is aptly named the "Fairy".

This is the front garden in late summer.

You enter the back garden through a gate at the side of the house. Immediately there is a small informal courtyard. Here there is a curved bench and a urn-shaped fountain that provides a pleasant ambiance.

With lots of shade this tiny, informal courtyard is a favorite spot for the dogs on a hot summer day. They like to trample my hostas and dig up my flower beds looking to make a cool resting place in the damp earth.

From the tree in the center of the courtyard, I have hung numerous feeders. I love to watch the birds coming and going from my kitchen window.

The informal courtyard has a pea gravel floor that blends seamlessly into a 
pathway which leads the visitor into the backyard.

Have you ever gone on a garden tour and found yourself standing in awe while looking at one of those immaculately groomed flower beds edged with razor sharp precision and not a weed in sight? Well, my garden is nothing like that. As you can see in the photo above, it is a bit of an unruly jungle of plants and trees. There is nothing hospital corner's perfect about it.

My eight year old garden is just a child with lots of growing up still to do. I am still struggling to defeat unruly patches of gout weed and creeping jenny. And just when I think I have finally defeated that evil menace known as Japanese Knotweed, new legions of fresh shoots emerge from the soil.

This year I decided to add a vegetable garden.

Growing vegetables for the first time proved to have more than a few small challenges.

The rear garden extends back from the house a generous 150 feet and is framed by mature trees and wide perennial borders. At the end of the yard, an arbor leads to an enclosed circular garden. At the center of this garden there is half sun, but all around the perimeter I have to contend with the deepest, darkest, dry shade.