Dietrich's gardens in Tiverton offer peace and tranquility
with glorious beauty all around

By Liz Dadson

Home & Garden

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A glimpse into the front courtyard at the gardens of Barbara Dietrich on Paterson Street, Tiverton

Barbara Dietrich welcomes people to tour her back courtyard

Entering the front courtyard from the sidewalk

Lovely gardens east of the front courtyard

Delightful hostas and decor along the west side of the house

Beautiful gardens to the north of the house

Barbara Dietrich's gardens on Paterson Street in Tiverton offer peace and tranquility surrounded in glorious beauty.

The gardens are one of several stops on the "Through the Garden Gate" garden tour set for Sunday, July 8, noon to 4:30 p.m., sponsored by the Kincardine and District Horticultural Society.

Dietrich and her husband, Ron, moved to their home in Tiverton 26 years ago and worked on the gardens for most of those years. He passed away six years ago, but the gardens hold many wonderful memories of the work they did there together.

Dietrich's favourite spot is the front courtyard, south of the house, where she and Ron brought in brick from Waterloo where they used to live.

"It used to be all grass," she says, "but we thought it would be nice to have a little courtyard. We fenced it in to block the cold wind from the west."

They used stone from Wiarton to create the many meandering pathways throughout the gardens.

The gardens boast a weeping cypress, spruce trees, an array of ferns, brightly-flowering clematis, corkscrew hazel, a mulberry tree, mature fruit trees, a variety of hostas, a rose garden, and many perennials collected over the years.

Once the front courtyard was established, the Dietrichs worked on flower beds all around the house.

"We changed them 1,000 times, adding plants and taking them out," says Dietrich. From there, they began work on the gardens to the north of the house.

"It's a double lot so there's plenty of room," Dietrich says. On the north side is a delightful Zen garden, offering peace and tranquility and inviting one to sit down and rest.

Zen garden

In one garden are hostas, peonies, and chocolate daisies which are yellow with dark brown centres. In another is a weeping beech tree.

Variegated hostas

"I really like ornamental trees," says Dietrich.

In the yard on the north side of the house, they had six apple trees but the trees started dying off so all but one were removed and they built a garden there.

Among the many varieties in the gardens are a smoke tree, tall ornamental grasses, shrub roses, a mountain ash, and a blue spruce.

"My neighbours give me plants and I plant them," says Dietrich. "I love all different kinds."

She doesn't buy a lot of annuals, just enough to plant a few flower boxes and containers. Mostly, her gardens feature perennials which make a great showing.

At the west side of the property is a cedar gazebo which Dietrich relaxes in every day. Beside it is a Devil's Walking Stick tree.

Devil's Walking Stick

Opposite the gazebo is another courtyard which was originally a swimming pool. But they filled it in and completed the area with more beautiful brickwork. Along the pathways here, are variegated hostas and more distinctive plants.

"I never gardened before we moved here," says Dietrich. "At night, we have total privacy. You can't see a soul."

These gardens have won "Best overall property" category and "Best Hardscaping" in 2004 and 2005 in Tiverton's Front Garden Competition.

The Dietrichs moved to Tiverton after Ron retired from his job as a top salesman in Kitchener-Waterloo. Barbara worked as an executive secretary for three different companies over the years, and for the president of the company.

After moving to Tiverton, she worked as secretary- dispatcher for the Kincardine Police Force, and Ron drove a school bus for several years.

Dietrich has two daughters, one living in Cambridge and the other in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She also has four grandchildren.

The "Through the Gate" garden tour runs rain or shine, Sunday, July 8, noon to 4:30 p.m.

Tickets are $12 in advance, or $15 on the day of the tour, available at Jerome Flowers, Quinn Florist or Kwik Way in Tiverton.

During the garden tour, refreshments will be available at the Whitney Crawford Community Centre in Tiverton.

Smoke tree  

Barbara Dietrich relaxes in the gazebo at the back of her property, west of the house

Clematis growing on the north side of the house

Weeping spruce

Containers of flowers at the front door

Hostas along the east side of the house

Well-kept and beautifully-designed pathways help people meander through the gardens at the Dietrich home in Tiverton

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