Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sharing beauty

An English cottage-style garden  at Third and Collingwood in Vancouver is my favourite in the whole city. On Saturday, my friend Linda checked out the wide variety of blossoms  -- red hollyhocks above, yellow corydalis below, and blue hydrangeas in the middle.

Lush plantings tumble around the white picket fence, a contrast to the smooth green patch of lawn.

Each section of the garden blends with the others, but provides its own blast of colour.

Unusual yellow lavatera in the back contrasts with the red hollyhocks in the foreground.

Lavender and campanula form a purple-blue base for the picket fence. The grey-leafed tree to the left above is an ornamental weeping pear. In the background, you can see the property's grey Craftsman house.

This is what the garden looked like in May, with orange Oriental poppies in bloom.

Another photo from May, when the roses were in bloom in the garden. A hot dry spring brought all the flowers on earlier than usual. 

Twenty-three blocks straight down the hill from me is the best private garden in Vancouver. Or at least the best in my little orbit of the city. A corner lot at Third and Collingwood, it is beautiful in all seasons. In spring it bursts with bulbs and blossoming shrubs; in summer it is lush with lavender, lavatera, roses, buddleia and other mid-season blooms; in the fall, it puts on another show of bright late-season flowers. It is quiet in winter, but always beautifully maintained.

One mystery about this garden is the gardeners themselves. In all the years I have walked past this Kitsilano showpiece, I have never seen anyone actually working in it, yet it is always so perfectly maintained that somebody obviously works there a lot. Perhaps the gardeners are early risers; as a late riser myself, it is possible our paths have never crossed. There has certainly never been any hint of a commercial gardening service being involved. I like to think that everything is done by gifted amateurs who carefully plan out every season in every corner of their garden from behind the stained glass windows of the pretty Craftsman house on the lot.

But the best thing about this garden -- besides its plants -- is its generosity. A more miserly owner could have kept all this beauty private, hidden behind high walls or hedges. But instead, someone has chosen to freely contribute all this abundant, tumbling glory to the community -- surely an example to us all.

At the junction of Collingwood Street, you'll find an impressive English cottage-like garden where a carefree mix of hollyhocks, phlox, lacecap hydrangeas and buddleia mingle behind a white picket fence, lavishly skirted by lavender, campanula and yellow corydalis. The whole street is really one lovely garden after another, as if all the neighbours had gotten together and agreed to create an avenue of flowers and foliage for all to enjoy. -- Vancouver Sun gardening columnist Steve Whysall, July 7, 2016 (In the garden: Vancouver's great 'green' streets)

1 comment:

  1. Wow...that is an amazing garden and just the type of garden I love too! Unfortunately, in Victoria, the deer would have made a feast of it.