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Two very contrasting gardens

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Garden #4

The gardens of Doris and John Van Trigt on a quiet cul-de-sac in Port Elgin have been a work in progress for over 30 years.

Doris Van Trigt (L) greets visitors

"When we first built our house," says Doris, "there was nothing here, including a back yard.  We had about six feet from the house and that was it and then it dropped off steeply into the neighbour's yard.  So, I decided to build a dry-stone retaining wall at the back of the property and then back-filled the area with soil dug out to make a lower level."

Lower level features raised beds & soil was then moved to the upper level

Today, all that work has given the couple a broad expanse of level lawn that then steps down into a lower level that is filled with raised beds of vegetables.

Dry stone wall  with a patio and pond

A far corner of the yard features a continuation of the dry-stone wall creates levels of beds that surround a waterfall and pond filled with blooming lilypads .

Lilypads begin to bloom

A quiet area to sit

Doris' prized roses

A patio seating area at the back of the house is separated from the lawn with a low stone wall and a wisteria covered archway leads visitors in and out of the back yard.

Wisteria covered arch

Garden #5

When Betty and George MacDonald downsized to their new Southampton home on Victoria Street, they didn't want to have to do a lot of yard maintenance as they once had.  Instead, they opted for a Xero-scape type of garden.

Betty MacDonald (L) explains her potting techniques

The front entrance garden feature grasses and a simple urn.  A flat stepping stone path leads around the side of the house to the rear where the low-maintenance gardening style continues.

Front garden area

Filled with drought-tolerant grasses and lush hosta, the sloping land at the back of the house was covered with a weed barrier and then the entire landscape was filled with white stone offsetting the various shades of greens in the plantings.

The sloping back yard highlighted with solar lights

A raised deck overlooks the back yard and it's here that Betty MacDonald has pots filled with plantings. From creeping jenny to hosta, her planters hold a wide variety of plants.   "Every fall, I simply cut the plants back and put the pots indoor for the winter and then bring them out in the spring. and, so far, they don't seem to mind it."

Small burst of colour with poppies

A small Japanese water feature on the deck


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Thursday, July 14, 2011