Once upon a time (in the 80's), Marg, Sheila and I used to all work at the library together. We became great friends and have stayed that way over the years.
Marg and I went to visit Sheila today. Her home and gardens are situated on a property that spans more than an acre and extends down to the Grand River.
Almost as soon as we arrived, we went on a garden tour. Please join me as I show you the magnificent job Sheila and her husband have done with this huge yard.
One of Sheila's urn designs was featured in Fine Gardening a few years ago. This is a variation of the original: Kong coleus, sweet potato vine and corkscrew hazel branches in an "extremely heavy" heirloom urn from the 1800's.
Boxwood neatly borders the entrance gardens.
This section is filled with "goodies": a White Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus) that smells heavenly in the spring, Holly, Heuchera, Hosta and a clematis that spills over the wall.
Climbing hydrangea, clematis and Rose Glow Barberry share the front bed with a solemn golden Lady.
Sweet potato vine, a thin leaf variation of potato vine called "Illusion Emerald Lace"and dark red coleus make a wonderful "spiller" composition in an unusual container: an antique baby bathtub!
Beside the driveway is a bed that features, among many other things, ferns: Ostrich ferns, Ghost fern, Japanese Painted Fern and …..
Over the years, Sheila has dug up and replanted into the front and the back many, many 'February' or 'Winter Daphne (Daphne mezereum) from an area near the river. These magnificent shrubs have highly scented lilac blooms in late April or early May and later have bright red berries. They seem to do well regardless where she transplants them!
These Heron are my favourite statues in the garden!
Sheila searches out and buys many Japanese Maples. Two recent purchases include Acer campestre 'Carnival', a beautiful variegated type and Acer palmetum 'Ukigumo' or 'Floating Cloud'.
I am always gushing about my Oakleaf Hydrangea, so I was very interested to see a dwarf one in this section of the garden. A small one like this would have been better suited to the location where I have my big overgrown one - sometime I lose sight of my front door!! Oh well - too late now…
Oooops! Bad Hair Day!!
Hosta 'Praying Hands' is definitely a collector's item. Its upright, narrow, tightly folded leaves resemble hands that are praying.
In the one large bed beside the driveway, Sheila has incorporated a Canna Lily (in a container), a purple smokebush and Sweet Autumn Clematis
Here's Sweet Autumn Clematis close up.
This is the Sun Border neatly bordered by boxwood and with a cedar hedge backdrop.
The corner of the property features a lime smokebush, a barberry bush that must be cut down every spring, hydrangea paniculata, a Gingko tree and an Eastern Redbud.
These are very special: a Tiger Eye Sumac…..
…….and Hydrangea 'Pinky Winky'.
Sheila describes the garden being in tiers, rather than rooms. Here, though is a "room" with an excellent spot to sit and view the river.
Even the river bank has been planted with water loving plants.
Thanks so much for having us over, Sheila! The place looks even more magnificent than last year :)