Gardens - Featured Gardens

A dual personality garden

Sandra MacGregor
Photography by
Donna Griffith

A Sudbury gardener cultivates both creativity and blooms in her carefree landscape

Design diva
Though Barbara may bid adieu to business in her garden, there’s one aspect of her job that comes through in her landscape—her design flair. The hardscaping and design touches throughout attest to the interior decorator’s ability to cleverly transform everyday objects into unexpected, singular statements, such as the “living” chandelier, draped with creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia); the twig bookshelf complete with wooden tomes made by Bryan; and the potting-glove display.

The bold and the beautiful
A common theme in both Barbara’s decorative vignettes and plant selections is the use of bright colours. “I’ve always been in love with bold colour,” says Barbara, who confesses lavender, decidedly too muted, is her least favourite shade. Blue, also lacking in boldness, is another no-no.

There’s a practical reason as well for choosing hot hues, she explains. With such a long property, bold colours are visible from anywhere in the yard.

Design tips

  • First and foremost, “Don’t let your garden own you,” advises interior decorator Barbara Grace. “Gardening has to be something you love, something you can’t wait to get home to.”
  • Choose decorative objects that don’t look as if they came directly from a store. “The more character marks, the better,” says Barbara, who acquires most of her pieces from garage sales, flea markets and even roadsides.
  • Don’t be afraid of colour. Try some hits of juicy citrus shades—you might be surprised at how bold hues will breathe life into your landscape.  
  • Accept your garden’s limitations. “If a plant wants to die, it will die,” she counsels. “Be at ease with your [growing] zone.”

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