It was a hot and sunny Father’s Day in June when the Vancouver’s, Dunbar Garden Club had their annual member’s garden tour, which I gleefully attended. I was impressed as well as inspired by the five very different gardens. Although many plants were in flower, it seemed to me that it was the roses that stole the show. The many creative flower combinations brought out the very best of each individual. I couldn’t get enough of the many wonderful peonies, roses and clematis combinations.
If you want to take the tour with me follow below. I’ve written a few things of note for each garden and theirs lots of pics as per.
Hope the photos inspire you as much as the real gardens inspired me.
Thank you to all the garden tour hosts for their generosity and kindness.
Nola Frost - A Garden of roses
If you are not a lover of roses, this garden might just change your mind. Unlike most formal rose gardens with blocks of roses surrounded by boxwood hedges, Nola has incorporated bold, beautiful and floriferous roses throughout her garden. They are artfully interspersed between vibrant peonies, lilies, clematis and other garden beauties. Climbing roses are an obvious favorite of hers as they have been accommodated by the many trellised covered walls and arbours.
Nola’s roses are virtually blemish free, but such healthy and beautiful roses must need lots of care, right? Well, that is just not the case. There is no spray program except for an occasional application of dormant oil/ lime sulfur mix in the winter. Fertilizer is applied yearly in early spring and a layer of a rich organic mulch on top of the soil is applied every other year. They really are easy care roses.
As a member of the Vancouver Rose Society, Nola knows her roses and makes a point of growing those that are resistant to black spot and mildew. This is why she likes the new modern roses that are bred to be disease resistant as well as the reliable and tough Old Garden roses.
When asked which rose were her favorite, Nola responded with three different ones ‘Dublin Bay’, ‘South Africa’, and ‘Summer Wine’. Sadly Summer Wine was not in flower during my visit so I don’t have any pictures.
Although I already love roses and have a few in my garden, Nola inspired me to grow more. I have no idea where to put them in my bursting garden, but I just can’t resist. Oh no!
Helen Smith – A Tale of Two Gardens
A tall retaining wall greets all that pass Helen’s garden. Rugosa roses cover one end of the rock wall and bright yellow creeping jenny and stonecrop sedum provide a brilliant groundcover at the entrance. It’s only when you walk up the stone path that you get a sneak peak of what’s to come. There’s a circular sunken patio with chairs and table inviting visitors to sit and enjoy the sunshine. It was a nice surprise. This patio becomes the main focal point when viewed from the house, but relaxation isn’t the only intent of the front garden. There’s a path that winds its way around the patio with vegetables and ornamental plants blending together in harmony. Asparagus, pole beans, squash, basil, garlic, chives and other edibles are mixed in with peonies, spirea, ninebark and other ornamental plants including a stunning deep purple clematis.
When walking from the sunny southern facing front garden to the back yard, the bright sunshine gave way to coolness and shade. Green leaves of different hues, shapes and forms dominated the small but well-appointed garden. And it is full of life. A netted fish pond sits below an ivy covered wall and active bird feeders hang above in overhead tree branches. Helen has added many lovely little touches to amuse and delight. A stone frog, a bunny by the stairs, a wee frog in water-filled rock, a rustic birdhouse tucked in behind Japanese forest grass and at the front, there’s a clay pot on its side spilling out succulents. Helen has artfully created two distinct gardens that are both functional and innovative.
Larry and Margaret Moore – A Garden of Rooms
This heritage home has been in the family since it was built in 1924. The large 84ft x 120ft lot is divided into numerous rooms to serve specific functions. The front garden display gardens wrap around the large lawn and the garden’s perimeter. A concrete garden urn provides an accent and a touch of formality while the wood wheelbarrow with a container of Bishop’s weed provides country flair and breaks up the large lawn.
The backyard is a whole different ball game, literally as it opens up to a vast lawn with a basketball hoop on one end. With generations of the Moore family growing up in the house, the garden must be multifunctional. There is a kitchen garden full of edibles that doubles as a play area for small children that includes play house. As Larry explained, the kitchen garden opens up to the living room where people congregate and sit. Tucked away in the 'living room' is a serene pond laden with fish and waterlilies for everyone to enjoy.
For privacy and to rest, another garden awaits on the other side of the property. It’s shady, intimate and features green and white plants that adds to the serenity. A striking stained fence provides a warm, fresh backdrop to the white goats beard, hosta and other shade plants. A bucket of blue campanula seems to flow aimlessly out of an old water pump. It provides a fine accent to the stylish bench beside it.
This garden is one for all ages, which is evident with the garden rooms that perform specific functions for every member of the family, no matter what their age.
Jennifer Buckland - Art in the Garden
Here are some of my previous blog postings. They cover a wide range of topics from bugs to my botanical excursions and conventions. Click on whichever interests you on the titles below for easy navigation.