Gardens - Featured Gardens

Victory lap around this New Brunswick garden

By
Stephanie Whittaker
Photography by
Daniel St. Louis

Walk through a prize-winning garden

"I didn't know the difference between an annual and a perennial," he says, "but I learned by watching gardening shows on TV and visiting local nurseries. I have been attracted to plants since I was at school and used to draw landscapes in art class."

He started modestly with a small border in front of the house. "That was a learning year," he says. "The following year, I changed everything. For the first three or four years, I was learning what worked and what didn't. I started with perennials that were easy to grow from seed: shasta daisies, blanket flowers [Gaillardia spp.], pinks [Dianthus spp.] and bellflowers [Campanula carpatica]. Each year, I added more to the garden."

Garden facts
Size: 50 x 100 metres

Orientation: south

Conditions: amended swampy and rocky areas, sunny

Growing season: mid-May to mid-October

Garden focus: part traditional English, part country

Zone: 4b

Learning from mistakes
Réjean admits he's made mistakes. "When I started the garden, I paired plants that were the wrong colours and the wrong heights or that had a short flowering period. For instance, the daisies and blanket flowers were too tall for the front of the border. But everyone does that at first."

The property now boasts 10 borders, a vegetable garden, an orchard, 60 varieties of shrubs and 20 varieties of trees, many of which are borderline hardy. Hardscaping, which unifies the various garden areas, includes a gazebo, a pergola and old cedar fencing.

Frustrated by a paucity of variety in local garden centres, Réjean spends the winter choosing plants for the following season. He seeds about 70 per cent of his plant material, including many of his shrubs and trees. "I order seeds from Ontario, the U.S. and England," he says. Some trees were shipped as saplings from mail-order services.

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