Friday, October 25, 2013

Quail's Gate

We have had some fabulous vacations this year! In May, we met up with friends in Kelowna, British Columbia. Kelowna is in the Okanagan Valley, a prime wine area of Western Canada. Needless to say we spent a lot of time sampling wines and enjoying the gorgeous views.
We had dinner at one of the more famous wineries - Quail's Gate. Sure, I was eager to taste the great food and drink but didn't my little gardener's eye notice how gorgeously landscaped the property was! I had to run around and photograph the exterior before dinner. Let me show you.

Even as we approached the building from the parking lot, it was apparent that the gardens were designed by professionals.

Lots of Barberry and Cotoneaster plus a Euonymus standard along with dry river rock beds.

Well placed rocks and ample mulch provide a clean look to the specimen plants in each bed.

The wooden pergola effect of the entryway blends beautifully with the plantings.

The Japanese Maple was an astounding size and shape.

Grasses, rocks and a stunningly fragrant lilac standard comprised the first level down.

 Looking back up were smaller river rocks, groundcover and hostas.

Here's a closer look at the lilac standard as well as the mini-waterfalls beside it.

Along the back of the restaurant was a very artistically designed walkway.

A look towards the side garden as well as a look back towards the lilac, this time showing the bench.

The scenery speaks for itself. Magnificent, isn't it?

Please check Astrid's Home - my latest post features the Princess Margaret Hospital Lottery Showhome in Oakville.

Monday, October 14, 2013

And the Award goes to…...

….this summer's super workhorse of an annual: BADA BOOM BRONZE LEAF SCARLET BEGONIA!!

I bought 2 flats of this vivid red fibrous begonia and planted it everywhere: in garden beds, in containers and at the cemetery. We had a funny summer weather-wise. It was rainy at first and then became extremely hot and humid with no rain for weeks on end.

Bada Boom did well in shade as well as sun. It carried on with little water and still put on a stunning show.

It increased about 3x in size from the original planting and never needed deadheading.

Bada Boom looked sharp and healthy next to Boxwood and Dusty Miller in the cemetery, where plants have to fend for themselves. Sure we go and water when we can, but mostly the plants are on their own.

This begonia performed very well in containers and provided a sharp pop of colour among long grasses.

I think I will save myself a lot of trouble next spring and buy 4-5 flats of this wonderful little annual and plant it everywhere :)

Please check my food blog for the Thanksgiving menu that I served yesterday.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Early Signs of Autumn

Summer flowers exude a deep, serene beauty in the humid heat but autumn brings about a different atmoshere: crisp evening and morning temperatures announce that plants are slowly dying but aren't they still so gorgeous in their decline?

Ha! The squirrels in my neighbourhood are getting fat from the walnuts! Remnants of shells are everywhere.

Please check out my food blog  : the latest post is how to make a homemade granola topping.