Morning Glory Vine.
The unique arbor entrance, in the garden I am about to show you, caught my eye as I was driving past one day. I determined to go back on the following weekend to ask if I might make arrangements to photograph the garden.
Asking permission to photograph someone's garden is a bit of an unusual request. I always worry that people will greet me with suspicion, but just the opposite is true. Gardeners, on the whole, seem exhibit a certain generosity of spirit and happily invite me into their private outdoor spaces. Such is the case with Eleonora.
After a few minutes of casual conversation, Eleonora and I discovered that we actually had a lot in common. Not only did we share a love of gardening, she was also an artist (see some of her artwork here) and had a background in interior design. In Eleanor's case, she was working as an interior decorator for many happy local clients.
I asked her about the garden's history.
"My parents were gardeners-my father concentrated on the vegetable garden and my mother on the flowers-they would argue over the footage. This is my childhood home and after the death of my parents, my husband and I purchased it from my sisters. My husband and I continue in the same way in the same location.", she told me.
View A: The construction phase looking into the garden. See the completed front of the garden in view A above. View B: Construction looking from inside the garden back to the road.
"In 2010, we made major changes to the garden, added rocks and fencing, an arbor entry and raised beds. In fact, it was my nephew who set the plan in motion, and together we mapped out where everything would go.", she continued.
Eleonora and her husband determined were four important criteria that they wanted to incorporate into the new design:
1. Raised beds to house herbs,vegetables, and flowers along the borders.
2. Gravel paths to remind them of a trip to Tuscany.
3. A "living" fence that was inspired by a photo of an English garden.
4. An arbor entry. (Eleonora designed the arbor to echo the peaked shape of the roof of the house.)
This is not quite the same angle as the construction photo B (above right), but this picture shows the right hand corner of the garden as it is now. The transformation from the 2010 picture of B is impressive, isn't it?
"With the stonescaping and fencing completed quite beautifully by my nephew, the task of filling in the gardens seemed daunting at first to my husband and I. We painstakingly saved as many perennials from my mother's garden as possible- peonies, hosta, sedum, Virginia creeper, rhubarb, phlox, iris, daylilies, red and yellow tulips and daffodils."
"Some plants are old and some plants are newly purchased: Butterfly bush, purple sand cherry, more varieties of hosta and hens & chicks."
Sweet Peas on the living fence and Morning Glories on the arbor entrance.
Plantings at the front fence include hosta, canna lilies, snap dragons, and the coleus below.
Such an odd color combination, but it works!
A sunflower peaks up above the front fence.
Herbs and flowers mix together with a pretty burgundy birdbath.
Vegetables and herbs intermingle with the flowers.
A pretty soft yellow dahila.
Another dahlia and yellow tansy on the right.
Purple alyssum and yellow Moss-Rose, Portulaca grandiflora
spill over the edges of the raised beds.
A bright orange-red Moss-Rose, Portulaca grandiflora
"The garden has passed through phase 1 and we are gearing up for phase 2 and 3 in the coming summer months and subsequent year. The garden is always changing and we look forward to the season ahead."
More Information and Links:
Eleonora Gattesco Roberts is an interior decorator and artist. She is a high honours graduate from the Interior Decorating Program at Sheridan College and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto's Art and Art History Program.
Please visit Gattesco House.com for more information about Eleonora, to see a sampling of her artwork and work as an interior decorator. Eleonora also has many lovely images of the garden she has taken herself on the website.
Streetsville Horticultural Society: Eleonora is a member of the Streetsville Horticultural Society which meets every 2nd Tuesday of the month (Sept-Dec, Feb-June). Please click the link for further details on the Society.