A Garden Tour

A Garden Tour

Stealthily peeking over a hedge into a stranger’s garden is sometimes a guilty pleasure for city gardeners. Here in our rural setting, where many residents know one another, we’re a little less formal and can drop by a friend’s garden for new ideas or advice almost any time. Occasionally, however, a club member has welcomed a whole group of visitors and the following photos were taken during one such tour in the Chester area. 

Spring, this year, has brought us an abundance of blooms on rhododendrons and azaleas in a wide range of colours. The gentler-than-usual weather has encouraged many perennials to bloom earlier than usual (and the weeds to grow faster) and these changes have taken a few Chester gardeners by surprise.

Broom, paeonies, and lupins

In the photo above, we see low-growing broom, used as a ground cover, and backed by peonies and lupins. These plants form a border that slopes up from the entranceway, where several members of the club stopped to chat with a neighbourly pet.

Covering about an acre, the extensive gardens appear to flow seamlessly from sector to sector. Many of the perennials in this garden are well established and, over the years, the landscape has been shaped into attractive focal points.  In the next photo, the large heads on the Alliums tower over a clump of Jacob’s ladder.

Alliums and Jacob's Ladder

Every garden needs a shed or shelter to use as a workplace for starting seeds and storing tools. This one is attractively decorated with fishing floats in a touch of “down-home”  whimsy.

garden shed

The property is situated on the edge of a woodland, with its many tall trees serving as a backdrop to the gardens.   

In addition to the perennials and shrubs that form the bones of the garden, the property owners, Diana and Bill, have carved out an extensive set of garden spaces over the years. Among the features are a series of vegetable beds and a pond.   
Diana gained much of her gardening knowledge from from her mother, who has received compliments for her own exquisite garden. Here, in a sort of optical illusion, Diana appears to be feeding the heron (which, being inanimate, is not hungry!). 

water garden

Among the several magnolias on the property (both white and yellow) only a few still retained their blooms at the time of our visit.  The close-up below on the left shows the handsome flower of an M. sieboldii with its strong simple lines; on the right, for comparison, is a different white bloom from a neighbouring garden, this one a Blanc double de Coubert with its ruffled layers of petals.  Both blooms are lovely and appealing in their own way. Vive la difference!






An arbour provides shade for a secluded bench near the border between the cultivated landscape and the natural forest.

woodland path

A stand of tall straight spruce forms a colonnade, as if in a cathedral, and the sunlight falling on the grassy path creates a chiaroscuro effect that beckons a visitor to enter the tranquil space.

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