Working with the soul of the property rather than against it, Sally has chosen a variety of mostly "natural-looking," if not native, plants to enhance the pond. "The lady's mantle along its edge looks spectacular in and out of bloom, and of course the maples we planted are just fantastic in the fall," she adds.
Sneezeweed, ox-eye daisies and black-eyed Susans were also added throughout the garden because they blended with the wild flora. And the cutleaf stephanandra on the lakeside bank is wonderful for erosion control; it also blooms profusely but is not showy, and mixes in well with the rocks and moss.
There are some wonderful grasses, too, on the property, such as Japanese ribbon grass. Although it looks attractive in autumn, Sally always chuckles when she reads how people in other parts of Canada love leaving seed heads for "winter interest."
"The seed heads look awful in the winter here because the snow breaks them down; they lie flat on the ground, then blow all over the place—it's not interesting at all!"
There is, however, an opportunity to really play with a broad selection of plant material, since one side of the house is in brilliant sunshine, while the other side is in complete shade. "We have pots with begonias, geraniums and ivy, but only close to the house," says Sally, almost in a finger-wagging tone that makes you think she has to consciously stop herself from going beyond her self-imposed borders. "There are some perennials beyond the terrace on the south side, but they look natural-like it just happened, while the north side beyond the terrace is all green."