By Melinda Marks, editor-in-chief
I don’t garden . . . but I love seeing what other people can do with the property around their homes.
Colourful flowers, decorative grasses, meandering walkways punctuated by whimsical sculptures. I am amazed at the imagination and effort I see in some of the splendid gardens while out walking our dog.
With winter winding down, this edition of Grand is an appropriate time to welcome back thoughts of spring flowers and luxuriant gardens in the area. They show us how boosting curb appeal or simply finding interesting ways to navigate through gardens using beautiful landscaping techniques can yield joy to gardeners and onlookers alike.
We have talked to one homeowner who moved from the suburbs to a house in midtown Kitchener. A front portico and great room at the back of the house were added, as well as flowers, planters, ornamental grasses, vines, etc. She had no green thumb to speak of, so a lot of trial and error went into that stunning yard. And that seems to be an important point in gardening. What you think you want to have, and what you end up with, is often very different.
A Kitchener couple bought a house with a garden they liked a lot. But by adding a little of their own design here and there, they created a truly spectacular outdoor space, putting their own stamp on a garden that was already there.
Of course, not everybody has a large piece of property with which to play. But it turns out that with precise design and clever accents, you can also turn a small townhouse property into a thing of beauty.
And don’t forget a garden sculpture. Whether big or small, a sculpture can often add stately elegance, or a little whimsy,
to a garden. The scale of the piece, the texture and the appropriate placement are things to consider.
There is a fascinating garden at McCrae House in Guelph (birthplace of poet John McCrae, who penned In Flanders Fields, in 1915). A corps of dedicated volunteers look after the property, sensing what to keep and what to ignore to provide visitors with a representation of what the land would have looked like at that time.
Bringing the outdoors indoors is what noted printmaker and educator Michelle Purchase does. Her playful images inspired by things such as tree houses, ice huts and forts seem to connect people to nature in a delightful way.
So, even though it’s not quite spring yet, we hope our annual Home and Garden edition helps put you in the right frame of mind.