In The Garden: Hints From A Mrs Gardener A Garden That Beats To Its Own Drum

Submitted by Joan Regan

I love garden tours, especially the ones that look like they were always there, just cut into the local landscape. Natural and beautiful, all telling their own story
I remember some years ago going on a tour a ways down the peninsula to a newly built home that had completely cleared every single tree, rock and bush and was trying to get that “Natural” look back. Massive rocks cut by man into perfect square blocks and evergreens so, so perfect they reminded me of the old plastic Xmas trees of the 70s and 80s. It was absolutely beautiful with all the colour that had been added by professional landscapers, worked and maintained. And I thought “Na, that’s not for me”. First of all, where is the little hidden corner where I can sit with my morning cup of coffee? And not even one bratty little Squirrel or Chipmunk to be seen, let alone all the birds – no feeders in sight. It was then I/we decided to make our gardens and property look like it had always been there.
We have a huge rock formation just to the North of our drive between it and the house (our 100 yr old house). Another reason to keep it natural. We were asked “are you going to bulldoze that down?” NO way! I put a garden on top of it.
The bush came within a few feet of the back of the house so we started to clean it up. First, out with those junipers…. I really hate those things. Then everything that was dead or dying. Then THOSE rocks; they were big, they were heavy, they were movable. Out came the old CNR Pry bar and I learned how to pry and lift and roll. But it didn’t take too long to realize that those big old mean rocks were focal points and the gardens were then designed around them. Some of those scrawny little trees now provide shade and even more places to sit and enjoy. Paths soon went in; not necessarily where we would have wanted them to be but where they wanted to be… so be it.
I often think of my Mom & Dad. Dad had put in a little sitting area in a corner of their garden and I loved being there when down for a visit. Guess that’s what was way back in my head somewhere, thinking of a cool shady place to sit, and now I have a few. There are still a few bigggg rocks over to the North side of the yard, however they are staying put. Hmmm… some mulch around them, some potted up shade plants, and Stedman’s will be opening soon so I can get a couple more chairs if I run out here. I can make it look natural, cozy and quite comfortable marching to its own tune.
Go away snow. I want to play outside.
Happy Spring Gardening,
Joni 519-596-2389