Size: 12 acres, 4 cultivated
Conditions: silt & sand
Growing season: end of April to November
Garden focus: water gardens, trees, collections of perennials
It's interesting that Madeleine Côté Lussier views her garden as a private place. While that may be true of the borders behind her St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, home, the exuberant plantings in front are on show to all who drive by this bucolic setting.
And these plants often beckon to guests who stay at Motel Le Boisé du Baronet next door, which Madeleine owns and runs. “Sometimes, the guests in the motel ask if they can tour the garden,” says Madeleine, who spends her mornings working as an innkeeper and her afternoons tending her eclectic plant collection.
The garden has been a work in progress since Madeleine and her husband, Noël, built their home in 1989. Noël, a former construction company owner, had built dream homes for clients and yearned to create one for his own family. So the couple bought the motel, built in 1949, and 12 acres of land surrounding it with the intention of living next door. But Noël was so busy with his company, it took him five years to get around to completing his own dream home while the family continued to live in a smaller house elsewhere in St-Hyacinthe.
Wanting a garden at their new home, Madeleine was dismayed to discover the low-lying land was flooded in the spring by the Delorme River, which bisects it. “It took rocky landfill and 100 truckloads of topsoil to raise the land by two metres,” she recalls. Once the family was settled, she turned her attention to creating a garden.