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Gnome News

ramblings of a plant lover

A Fussy Garden

Our first summer with garden complete at Forsythe. Enjoying the beauty of our hard work and nature’s reward.

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When planning a new garden architectural feature, I always start with Pinterest or Instagram to help inspire and vision cast. I found this wonderful little chart on Pinterest – “The World’s Greatest Catalogue of Ideas”, which provides a great quick reference on details for rafter tail profiles. Whether you’re planning a new detail on your home exterior, arbor, pergola, gate or fence detail, it’s always good to consider how that choice complements your existing home finishes.

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Oh Shoot!

Working with lifestyle photographer Donna Griffith is always a pleasure. She brings something special to every project. A near perfect day started at 4:30am to catch the dawn light on the property. The preamble prep for the gardens nearly killed me, but I’m excited to see the outcome of her work and hopefully my effort paid off as well. Will keep you posted.

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The Royal Botanical Outdoor Theatre of Greenery

I don’t know about you, but I often neglect the most exciting places around me. It may take a friend or family member from far away announcing a visit before I desperately start looking for things to do in the “neighbourhood”. When I travel I spend a good amount of time planning interesting destinations elsewhere, but at home, not so much.

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The best gardens always have water features. Just inside The Dalglish Family Courtyard is the first of many at Rock Garden I enjoyed.

Spring is in Full Swing

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Well, we planted our new garden at Forsythe last fall and so far, everything has come up green (a few minor exceptions). Very happy with the sancutary this provides us in this very urban setting.

The Town of Oakville, in true adversarial form, has provided one last surprise blow on this challenging property makeover by serving us with a short list of petty “deficiencies” that would require essentially undoing a good chunk of the back of the property, primarily to inspect what they failed to inspect earlier on, remove the pressure treated retainer boards along the back and drop the soil grade by 7″ to 10″. Extremely disheartening at this stage of the game with large trees in place.

Making The Final Cut

This year I gave up on electrical and gas machines and decided to get a push mower. I won’t mislead here, it’s not as easy but quieter and my grass lawn is so small it seemed a reasonable commitment. The whole experience is quite nostalgic actually. The smell of fresh cut grass and boyhood memories of cutting neighbours’ lawns to earn money for my first bike. If you feel so inclined, I’d recommend “The Silent Cut” by Mascot – a good heavy duty option. Check it out here.

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Beautiful Virgin Gorda & Miami

On a recent cruise of the Caribbean I had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful British Virgin Islands. We took a 45 minute water taxi from Tortola to Virgin Gorda and Baths. Walking through “a labyrinth of house-sized granite boulders” was quite an experience. While this wasn’t a contracted “Rock Garden” project, but a fastidious act of nature, it certainly could provide some inspiration for your next landscape venture. Of course budget and scale would have to be considered. The lush tropical gardens and vegetation surrounded by turquoise and cobalt blues seas is Caribbean idyllic. The high point entrance of the park was stunning.

Just above the Virgin Gorda was this lovely view of the British Virgin Islands including Tortola.

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Loved watching this Emerald-Throated Carib (Hummingbird) weaving in and out of his Magnolia. It took a few shots but I finally got it. It was busy fighting off the larger birds who wanted to share the tree.

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The shadow of the the Palm on this three storey boulder was eye-catching.

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Along the shores at the Virgin Gorda baths the sail boats lined up for a perfect day.