Gardens - Featured Gardens

A garden in good hands

Sara Begg Townsend
Photography by
Stacey Van Berkel Haines

Nova Scotia native Betty Minor has thoughtfully cultivated a verdant, 
natural haven—and along with it, a sense of her own history.


The structure for the garden took shape with the stone walls Betty built using rocks she lifted from the soil where she was to create her flowerbeds, and paths made from found items like the bricks that her aunt discarded after redoing a chimney. Around the hardscaping Betty planted rudbeckia, beebalm, coreopsis, cosmos, zinnias and other colourful summer blooms. Betty fills new beds with annuals for the first few years so she has lots of the summer colour she loves in the garden, while keeping a careful eye on the soil at the same time. She clears the weeds, then layers newspaper, cardboard, soil and compost before filling the bed with the bold shades of her favourite perennials and shrubs. “My mother was always making colourful bouquets from the flowers in her garden—she thought of it as early deadheading,” Betty says, adding, “I find I do the same thing.”


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