Matchetts' lakeview property
on annual garden tour

By Liz Dadson

Home & Garden

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Robin and Janice Matchett stand in their beautiful back yard which has been the backdrop for several weddings

A tranquil back yard setting is flanked by climbing hydrangeas

The pool fence is surrounded by butterfly gardens and shrubs of every kind

Robin and Janice Matchett have the best of both worlds in their beautiful gardens at 18 Boiler Beach Road, Kincardine.

The space is very unique in that it ranges from dry and direct sun in the front yard to shade and natural water springs in the back yard. The hill at the back provides a lovely backdrop to the whole setting.

The property will be part of the Kincardine and District Horticultural Society's "Through the Garden Gate" tour, slated for Sunday, July 10.

This is the second time the Matchetts' lakeview gardens have been on the tour. The first time was 10 years ago, shortly after the gardens were established when the house was built in 1997.

Janice is the green thumb in the family, having learned the love of gardening from her father. Robin cuts the grass, helps with yard clean-up and clears away the snow in the winter time.

But don't be fooled, says Janice. "Robin designed the house and I did the yard. We perfectly complement each other."

She says the yard is a "gardener's dream" as it allows them to grow their favourite plants as well as some new varieties. 

"In early spring, we have the delight of enjoying our Golden Chain Tree with long yellow blossoms cascading from its branches," she says. "From early spring to late fall, the garden always has something in bloom which, to our enjoyment, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds."

Janice prepares planters of annuals to add colour around the sitting areas on the front porch, as well as in the back yard around the pool area.

A walk around the gardens is pure delight, from the arbour to the north leading into the woods, covered in clematis, to the gorgeous climbing hydrangeas that bloom all summer, to the area at the south with its peaceful solitude graced by a huge Japanese maple.

The southern gardens, with a pond and stone steps have been of particular interest to photographers for various wedding parties over the years, says Janice.

The stone walking path is lined with daylilies, butterfly bushes and roses; and varieties of hostas are used in the shaded areas.

Robin notes that the property was a wooded area when they bought it, and due to the natural springs, they had to install a lot of drainage before building their home. They have also installed an irrigation system. 

The garden at the north end, named after the Matchetts' daughter, Andrea, because it's beside her bedroom window, is full of plants that love the sun, such as Black-eyed Susans, irises, peonies and roses, as well as ornamental grass.

Janice is a member of the horticultural society and says it's an honour to be asked to participate in the garden tour.

"Garden lovers enjoy coming for a look to see what varieties of plants we're growing," she says. "That's where I picked up a lot of ideas.

"With gardening, it's all about colours and textures. I've shared a lot of plants with others, especially my hostas."

She and Robin love entertaining. They often host staff parties or have family and friends over to enjoy the pool in the back yard during the summer time.

"We have such a wonderful setting here," says Janice. "We can enjoy our coffee in the morning on the lake side, and then enjoy our evenings in the back yard."

The Matchetts welcome patrons of the annual garden tour to enjoy strolling around their yard.

The rock garden beside the garage on the lakeside of the house

Clematis grows on the arbour leading into the woods to the north of the Matchett property

Climbing hydrangeas grow beside the pool area

The view of the lake from the front of the Matchetts' home

The tour runs Sunday, July 10, noon to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 each, available at Jerome Flowers or Quinn Florist in downtown Kincardine. Tickets on the day of the tour are $15 each. Refreshments will be provided at the Walker House.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011