This little house in Langley was to become our temporary home while we built a ‘big house’ elsewhere on the property. It is only 1200 square feet, but, as it turns out, that is plenty of room. Brent was our own architect. Did he miss his calling ? All our renovation plans and his drawings etc were approved . Two years ago I created the garden/tableau setting around the house. My goal was a ‘French’ look , casual and low. The first step was placement of the rocks and loads of soil. I envisioned a ‘Humps and Bumps’ look – as seen in French magazines and strongly influenced by the late, great French taste-maker Nicole de Vesian. Langley is very windy and I think colder in winter, so I hoped I had planted hardy plants. The largest globes are Salix purpurea ‘Canyon Blue’, the dwarf Arctic willow. At the front are mounds of Hebe buxifolia, with assorted boxwoods, thymes, Stachys lanata (Woolly Lamb’s Ear) and a self-sewn Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’ on the left. We felt it was important NOT to use grey gravel – too dreary . Brent found this ‘Peach Shale’ in Alberta and it was easy to get it trucked here. It was still cheaper than paving!!
May 25, 2014
May 21, 2014
One of the greatest joys in all of gardening is the blooming of the Tree Peonies ! Mid-May seems to be peak season for these ephemeral scene-stealers, so don’t plan on any travel or you will miss them! Now that I have lots of space, I have indulged. I ordered several from Song Sparrow Nursery in the U.S. ( they ship to Canada) and am astonished by their beauty. Tree peonies can be inexpensive or expensive. So can wine, cheese or vacuum cleaners! There is a reason. The rarer ones are bound to cost more ($100.00 or so), but are soooo worth it. They are all grafted , and there is only so much material to propagate from. Rare means rare. The colours of these hybrids defy description. Here’s some blooms I enjoyed this week out at our farm….. the beauty shown below is called ‘Ezra Pound’
A favourite variety of mine is the lovely ‘Nike’. I had a hunch that this would be my favourite, and planted it in a place of honour. This paid off, as it is bigger and has more flowers than any of the others. It s an incredible soft orange/salmon and has a lovely fragrance. I see it as I arrive and as I leave home. What a colour !! ‘Nike’ is from Song Sparrow Nursery in the U.S.
II brought this yellow tree peony with us when we moved to the country. It is about 15 years old, and is looking a bit woody/tree -like. Be sure not to prune tree peonies. They are supposed to form a small shrub of woody branches. Pruning hard will only cut off all your flower buds !! This variety loves the light, dappled shade under some high fir trees.‘Tria’ is a lovely lemon yellow variety with a lovely fragrance. It likes lots of sun to bloom.