Stevens' back yard is a place
of beauty and tranquility; one of several on annual garden tour
By Liz Dadson
Home & Garden
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Scott (L) and Darlene Stevens had this Weigela bush removed from the front of the old house on Olde Victoria Street before it was demolished, and after their new house was build, they had the bush replanted in their back yard; their gardens are part of the "Through the Garden Gate" tour, slated for Sunday, July 6, sponsored by the Kincardine and District Horticultural Society
The intriguing flower bed in the back yard at the home of Scott and Darlene Stevens, on Olde Victoria Street, Kincardine
The front porch at the Stevens home, with a traditional flower bed and lawn
Bird houses, made by Darlene's father, are featured in the flower bed in the back yard
The Stevens' back porch
When Scott and Darlene Stevens moved into their new home on Olde Victoria Street in Kincardine last year, they had nothing for a lawn or gardens.
Their back yard is now a wonderful haven of beauty and tranquility - a testimony of what can be accomplished in just a year, through hard work and dedication.
Their gardens are one of several on the "Through the Garden Gate" tour, sponsored by the Kincardine and District Horticultural Society.
Scott and Darlene purchased the property on Olde Victoria Street in the fall of 2012, and had the old house demolished. Quality Construction began building their new home in November, 2012, and they moved in April, 2013.
"Our yard was just a pile of dirt, front and back," says Darlene. "We used to live in the Kin-Huron subdivision, and I came from a place where I had 22 flower beds. Here, Scott, said I could have just one flower bed."
They enjoy their new home, and had it built specifically with porches at the front and back, where they can enjoy their coffee in the morning and relax in the evening.
"I was going to do the front yard with all plants," says Darlene, "but Scott asked that it be a traditional front yard with grass. So, we made it simple, with a few hostas and bushes."
A flagstone pathway, along the north side of the house, leads to the back yard which has that one flower bed, but it's 50-feet long, running along almost the entire west edge of the property.
And it is beautifully laid out, featuring 12 plants that Darlene brought with her from her former home, as well as many that were given to her, and some she purchased.
"There are more than 130 perennials in that bed," says Darlene. "It was so exciting, because friends and neighbours would drop off plants and I would put them here and there in the flower bed."
It is a vast improvement to what was there since they began with nothing, says Scott. "We had no trees, no bushes, all we had was a pile of dirt. So, we levelled it off and picked stones. We planted a cedar hedge but then found that the existing trees on our neighbours' property provide plenty of shade and privacy."
Much of the garden art was made by Darlene, including the concrete planters and stones, the penny ball, the mirror window and the tile window.
The mirror window in the back yard
Two bushes from the front of the house were removed and replanted in the back yard. The bird houses were made by Darlene's dad, Fraser Lamont; and a beam holding up a pot of flowers came from her brother's barn in Port Elgin.
Everything in the large flower bed seems to tell a story, including old pots and lampshades.
An old clothesline pole bears the names of places Darlene and Scott have visited, and beside it, is a bench made from an old sleigh seat that belonged to Darlene's uncle.
The back yard is their favourite place as they enjoy sitting on the porch, listening to the birds and relaxing in the peace and quiet.
Darlene has also planted an herb garden, and is trying her hand at growing tomatoes. Plus, she is working on a "Blue Garden" beneath her tile artwork.
This is the first time Scott and Darlene have been part of the annual Garden Tour and they are looking forward to it, but are a little apprehensive at the same time.
"People are excited to see the gardens, to see what you can do in a year," says Darlene. "So, we want to have the gardens looking their best for the tour."
Darlene likes adding to the gardens by picking up unique and unusual items at garage sales and finding a place for them amidst the flowers and plants.
"Gardening relaxes me," she says. "I come out here and the world is okay, everything's okay."
The "Through the Garden Gate" tour runs Sunday, July 6, from Noon to 4:30 p.m., rain or shine. Tickets are $12 each in advance, or $15 each on the day of the tour. Tickets are available at Quinn Florist, Jerome Flowers and Gifts, or on the day of the tour at the Kincardine Curling Club.
Garden art made from black-splash tiles and jewellery, hangs over the "Blue Garden"
The penny ball, created by Darlene Stevens, is a featured piece in the back yard flower bed at their home on Olde Victoria Street, Kincardine
The flagstone pathway to the back yard
A beautiful floral design in the flagstone pathway
Darlene (L) and Scott Stevens sit on the bench made from a sleigh seat, beside their "destination" pole, featuring the many places they have visited
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014