In my area, the garden tour season kicks off with the annual Canadian Cancer Society Tour in late May. Not only does the tour support a worthy cause, it is a wonderful opportunity to see local gardens in all their late spring splendour.
Today I want to share with you a garden that was a standout on last year's tour.
The lot runs wide to the road and so it was hard to get everything in a single shot.
This is a view of the central portion of the front garden.
In the beginning, Liz Maliki inherited a builder's beige front garden with a few rather nondescript planting beds and some basic hardscaping. What she really wanted was a garden with interesting sight lines, texture, color and a full four seasons of interest.
To determine a new layout for her garden, Liz stood at the front of the house in the dead of winter, when there are less visual distractions from foliage and flowers, and devised her plan.
The lot she had to work with was a wide rectangle that sloped gently down to the road. Though the plantings were initially unspectacular, Liz was lucky to have inherited some mature trees including some pines and a red maple. In her new design, Liz incorporated a sweeping series of curved flowerbeds, a fresh mix of plants, and new pathway leading to the entrance to the house.
Let's take a look at this pretty garden over twenty years in the making and still evolving to this day:
Everywhere you look there are beautiful combinations of color and texture. Even when there is little in
bloom, this planting bed will still be colorful.
Here we are looking at the same bed as in the previous shot, but this time from the opposite angle. The pink flower in the middle foreground is the Tree Peony in the next shot.
A closer look at that mix of perennials and shrubs including hosta, blue and golden colored evergreens, a maroon colored Barberry bush, a golden colored Heuchera (to the left of the Barberry) and Zebra grass (middle foreground).
Most of the planting beds can be viewed from both sides and a variety of perspectives. The plantings are not stepped in the traditional way: shorter perennials in front, intermediate and then taller perennials at the back. Instead, Liz has made a point of keeping sight lines visually appealing by varying plant heights like notes in a musical score.
A few of the perennials in this bed are hightlighted below: a mix of Heuchera (top right), Hosta (left)
the unexpected use of Chives (lower left) and a creamy yellow Tree Peony (lower right).
Hostas aren't ordinary when you combine a bright, lime-colored cultivar, a deeply-ribbed, solid green one and bookend them with two variegated varieties.
What I think Liz has created here is visual music. The busier variegation of the Euonymous is like the lively notes of a violin singing above the deep, mellow notes of a chello or base, which in this case, are the big-leafed hostas.
This is the walkway leading to the front door. On the left, boxwood frames a flowerbed filled with Rhododendrons, Euonymus, a Korean Lilac (on the left edge of the picture).
And this is a portion of the flowerbed on the opposite side of the front walkway.
Two final pictures of the front walkway. That is a pink Weigela cascading down
into the picture frame on the right.
In this detail shot, Liz has planted a combination of Hosta, Heather (lower left) pink Azalea
and a Spirea (lower right corner).
In the next post, we will head into the back garden.
More Information and Links:
Here are all the details you need to know to attend this year's Canadian Cancer Society Tour.
I am going to link this post with the Garden Party at Fishtailcottage
and to Fertilizer Friday at Tootsie Time.