Sunny Sunday draws great crowd for "Through the Garden Gate" garden tour
By Liz Dadson


Home & Garden

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Bev Harris (L) and Steve Phillips stand with the magnificent flower garden in their backyard on Durham Street, Kincardine, part of the Kincardine Horticultural Society's "Through the Garden Gate" garden tour, Sunday afternoon

A picturesque flower garden in the backyard at the home of Bob and Carol Bylsma on Huron Terrace, Kincardine

Peggy Zeppieri (L) and landscape designer Rachel Thompson (R) discuss the gardens at the home of Zeppieri and Tom Cole on West Street, Kincardine

Visitors tour the back garden at the home of Peggy Zeppieri and Tom Cole on West Street, Kincardine

Darlene Stevens (L) welcomes visitors to her backyard garden, complete with a large flower bed and a garden shed, during the tour, Sunday afternoon

Warm, sunny weather drew a good crowd to the Kincardine Horticultural Society's annual "Through the Garden Gate" garden tour, Sunday afternoon.

There were eight different garden locations, plus Rotary Park and the Labyrinth Garden at Geddes Park, on the tour.


When Steve Phillips and Bev Harris purchased their property on Durham Street, Kincardine, the small backyard had a red maple tree, a hibiscus bush, Rose-of-Sharon trees, iris plants and many weeds. They built a water feature and two berms to separate the flower garden from the vegetable garden.

For the next few years, the property was rented and the garden was largely ignored. When they returned three years ago, they created a courtyard by adding a wall that can be taken down in the fall.

Perennials are slowly being added to accompany the many hostas. Dahlias give much pleasure as they provide an abundance of colour from the end of June until frost.

Steve Phillips with the Fairy Garden he planted this year

The water feature at the home of Bev Harris and Steve Phillips


These backyard gardens, on West Street, Kincardine, are designed and maintained by landscape designer Rachel Thompson. They show a wonderful interplanting of perennials with naturalism and modernity.

There are rich layers of bold perennials inspired by the patterns and palettes of native vegetation. Massing perennials together draws attention to their ornamental characteristics, and amplifies their colour, form and texture.


The backyard of Scott and Darlene Stevens on Olde Victoria Street, Kincardine, demonstrate what can be achieved in just a year.

The Stevens family moved into their newly-built home in April, 2013, and started with a blank canvas in their backyard.

There is a shade garden alongside a flagstone pathway leading to the backyard. The main perennial bed has more than 100 plants which are a combination of those brought from the Stevens' old gardens, newly-purchased, and some donated treasures from friends.

All the gardens include homemade objects of interest, including four birdhouses made by Darlene's father.

Darlene Stevens (L) chats with a group of visitors about the backyard gardens

This stone pathway leads to the Stevens' backyard

Other gardens on the tour included those of:

  • Ron and Lorrie Alexander on Upper Lorne Beach Road, Lorne Beach
  • Stan and Angela Soloduka on South Cedar Lane in Kinhuron
  • Dave and Cynthia Bruggeman on Beach Ridge Lane
  • Stewart and Nancy Alexander on Beach Ridge Lane
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The pleasure gardens of trees, shrubs and perennials at the home of Bob and Carol Bylsma on Huron Terrace, Kincardine, began many years ago as a large expanse of grassy lawn and a large vegetable garden.

It's a lot of work to maintain, but it gives so much enjoyment to them when they sit down and relax outside. The boulevard garden was created about three years and passersby enjoy it and often comment on it.

Carol Bylsma (L) discusses her flower beds with a visitor during the garden tour

Beautiful flowers in the gardens at the Bylsma home

A delightfully-decorated fish pond

A profusion of flowers

Chairs welcome visitors in the Bylsma backyard, beside the garden shed

Welcome to the Bylsmas' gardens

Liz Dadson

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Thursday, July 10, 2014