My parents’ garden is more famous than I will ever be. But I’m okay with that. Now you can see what I have to live up to in terms of DIY.
Unfortunately that’s the largest image I have, so I’ve transcribed it below:
Why: All the exuberance of spring. Peonies, irises, lupins, and poppies.
Best Time to Visit: Mid-June
What: When Janet and John Bell moved to their grey clapboard house 12 years ago, there was no garden. But they brought the backbone of a garden with them in plastic bins from their house near the Rockliffe airbase. Hostas and peonies, irises and lupins, 13 varieties of thyme, clematis, lavender, honeysuckle, and pink poppies now thrive in this garden that wraps around two sides of the house. “We started from the house and worked outwards toward the road,” says Janet, an artist who works in fine detail in pen and ink.
The garden is a history of their marriage. The peonies, a colour card of pinks from deep to pale, were all given to the couple by the minister who married them 34 years ago. There’s also a hosta that came from John’s father and is over 20 years old. These plants have travelled all over Canada with them as they have moved from coast to coast for John’s work. Irises are a particular favourite of the couple — there’s a spectacular example of the pink bearded variety ‘Beverly Sills’ — and they have grown several unusual varieties from seed. In high gardening season, they spend about three days a week keeping up with the exuberant growth, and in fall they fertilize their sandy soil with sheep manure and peat moss. The secret to this splendour is simple: “If it doesn’t thrive, get rid of it,” says Janet.
The Shining: This garden is a riot of colour in early summer, with peonies, poppies, irises, clematis, and all manner of perennials. Irises (show to full advantage at right) are a particular favourite of the couple, who, over the years, have dug up and taken their favourite plants with them whenever they moved.