Located on a quiet, tree lined road near Campbellville, Ontario is a large country garden that has been twelve years in the making. The prospect of landscaping such a sizeable property might have intimidated many homeowners, but Mary-Anne Poole tackled the project bit by bit as time and money permitted.
Under the tall evergreens at the front of the house, she planted shade loving hostas in a series of island beds. Along the arc of the driveway Mary-Anne created a part-shade garden using a mix of plants including Heuchera, Tiarella and Japanese Ferns.
In the sunny backyard, she designed a deep flowerbed that has grown in size over the years. It now runs the entire length of one side of the yard and across the back of the property. One of the nicest features of the wide, sunny border is a waterfall and pond framed by a rustic arbor.
Here are 10 great ideas from Mary-Anne's garden that can scaled down to be suit any sized property:
In case you are wondering, the purple flowers seen in the previous picture are Lupins.
2. Create an interesting border to accentuate the pleasing curves of your flowerbeds. To edge her garden, Mary-Anne laid down a ribbon of landscape cloth and covered it with beach pebbles and a line of grey boulders.
The blue flowers in the previous image are Campanula.
Succulents and Cactus mingle together here.
Good drainage is key to getting these plants to overwinter.
3. Plant a conversation piece! Capture the interest of garden visitors with an unexpected or unusual plant. Most people are curious about the cactus in Mary-Anne's garden but, surprisingly enough, some varieties of cactus can overwinter here in Southern Ontario.
Mary-Anne's collection of succulents and cacti are quite exposed to the harshness
of the elements in an island bed in the centre of the lawn.
Succulents & cactus mixed together.
Ostrich Ferns, Matteuccia struthiopteris
The Ostrich Ferns that are incorporated into the plantings around Mary-Anne's pond are native to Southern Ontario. Not only is this fern beautiful in dappled shade, it is also well adapted to the growing conditions of her garden.
Ostrich Ferns, Matteuccia struthiopteris, by the pond.
5. Don't forget to consider the appeal of pleasant sounds. A great garden appeals to all the senses. One of the first things you notice about Mary-Anne's garden is the abundance of bird song. Birdhouses sit on top of tall posts, and feeders hang in almost every tree.
6. Don't leave visitors standing on the lawn admiring your garden from a polite distance. Invite them in to experience your garden more intimately by incorporating a pathway. If your yard isn't this large, use a short series of stepping stones tucked into one of the corners of the garden.
7. When it comes to adding color in shade or part-shade, think beyond flowers. If you have full shade, look for hostas that have an interesting variegation or leaf color. In the partly shaded flowerbed along the driveway, Mary-Anne has incorporated a mix of Heuchera and Tiarella to make the garden colorful.
The plants with the dark burgundy foliage are Heuchera. Tiarella have the green leaves with dark veining. In spring, Tiarella have the bonus of lovely, soft white flowers.
8. Play up texture with contrast. Here the chartreuse flowers of Lady's Mantle, Alchemilla seems all the more delicate with a backdrop of small grey rocks and pebbles.
Wisteria vines provide the leafy canopy that covers the rustic structure.
9. Accentuate a focal point or key feature by framing it with an arbor. Here, rough timber and driftwood have been used to create the arbor that leads visitors to a pond in the centre of the backyard garden.
10. Install a pond! A garden should be a place to reconnect with nature and nothing attracts birds, frogs and other creatures to your garden like a pond!
I hope you have found a few ideas that will inspire your plans for next spring!
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