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Gnome News

ramblings of a plant lover

New Year’s Day

You don’t always have to travel a great distance to enjoy completely different surroundings; the beauty of nature, a garden or amazing property.

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Friends from Toronto invited us to their magnificent farm they’ve recently purchased in Northumberland County for a New Year’s visit and a wonderful walk through their wooded acreage. The former owners of this 70 acre estate farmed Dogwood, Curly Willow, Hydrangea and other perennials that they harvested and sold to many of the nurseries in the GTA, usually during the holiday season. They also used them to teach basket weaving and create other hand-crafted garden architectural products for sale.

Georgian Bay Called Us Home

The lovely under-realized town of Meaford just west of Thornbury has been homestead to our family for many years. With a new chapter of life before us we decided to leave city life and go in search of more tranquil and beautiful surroundings. Top priority was to search for waterfront property and after three years of intensive searching we finally found our new nest. The hope being that no one can build or develop on the water, so at the very least, half our view will always be naturally wondrous. With the right plan we can privatize the front half with mature plantings as any gardener would.

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Christmas at Walnut Farm

This Christmas was quietly special, spent with family at their farm just west of the Beaver Valley, near Georgian Bay. While this winter hasn’t been abundant with snow so far, Walnut Farm was blessed with a fresh falling just in time for a picture perfect holiday.

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In spite of our hibernating gardens in Canada, the architecture of plantings, trees, berries and bordering evergreen add to the unique seasonal beauty of this cold dormant season. I’d encourage you to consider this even in the spring and summer as you plan for garden improvements. Imagine all of the seasons, the winter especially, and what you might include in your ongoing plans to ensure that half of the year is well accounted for in the garden design.

Southeast Oakville Garden Project

It was already November when Jon Bowman from JRB Group called me and said, “I need Fussy.” I was concerned about access to plants, not to mention the planting of them so late in the fall. Jon was pushing forward to finish a beautiful new build in southeast Oakville on Lakeshore for putting on the market early in the new year.

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Gardens – Turks & Caicos Style

It’s no secret I love tropical climates, and not just for the warmer temperatures, but also for the lush green vegetation. There’s something particularly exotic about well designed gardens in such places, distinct from anything at home in my growing zone.

To celebrate the end of a significant chapter in our lives and the beginning of a new one, we planned a two week escape to the beautiful Caribbean destination of Turks & Caicos. We stayed at the urban chic Gansevoort on Grace Bay for the first week and then took a most memorable boat ride to COMO Parrot Cay for the second week. While the two properties were extraordinary, each provided very unique experiences.

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Of course I always pay particular attention to the landscaping, the gardens, the design of the setting. I’ve found this always plays a critical role in the overall lasting impression of a destination. It really sets the stage and creates a sense of holiday, mystery and excitement about being somewhere remarkably appointed. In this regard, neither resort disappointed.

In The Garden

I came across Beth Dow’s work a few months ago and then more recently. I particularly loved here series called, “In The Garden”. Something about the tones and texture of the images and the way she frames a shot I find completely captivating. Beth has an eye for irony. The way she frames a shot I find completely captivating. Beth has an eye for irony.

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Hedging Your “Frets”

I was recently asked when the best time to trim your Boxwood and Yews are. I have a lot of hedges, both Boxwood and Yews, and I have trimmed them at different times of the year, depending on my personal scheduling and when they seem to need it most.

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