Gardens - Featured Gardens

A garden of succulent treasures

Janet Davis

Explore a colour-coordinated jewel box garden

For Thomas Hobbs and Brent Beattie, owners of Vancouver’s renowned Southlands Nursery, rich, vibrant colour is one of life’s essential ingredients. It’s also the hallmark of their dramatic, 1933, Spanish-style home overlooking the city’s English Bay. A three-walled house on a triangular lot, it was named Casa Triangulo by its original owner, a Californian who’d come north during the Depression looking for work.

In the two decades they’ve owned the house, Thomas and Brent have completely restored it. They began by painting over the white exterior in a rich, terracotta colour. “I wanted it to look more like a Los Angeles house,” says Thomas. The pair added stucco garden walls in the same colour, thereby creating a unified backdrop for a series of enchanting—and much photographed—gardens, which also provide Thomas with material for his weekly television spot on Global News and inspired his bestselling books, Shocking Beauty and The Jewel Box Garden.

“The stucco colour was a big factor in choosing a plant palette,” explains Thomas, who steers clear of pink, red and yellow flowers but splashes peach-, salmon- and orange-coloured blossoms throughout the gardens.

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