Woman with trowel: Waxing philosophical about garden design


Meredith’s garden last summer with Angelica sylvestris ‘Vicar’s Mead’ and Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’, with echinacea and coreopsis. Image credit: Meredith Brehaut

One of the problems with having a new space to garden is deciding how you want to represent yourself. What kind of garden design will you manifest from bare earth and desire? It’s a champagne problem, I’ll admit… but read on and I’ll tell you how I decided about my front garden.

My husband and I lived in an apartment for years before we bought our house. While we had an entertaining shade garden with pots, I longed for the chance to try all those sun plants. I would walk through Kitsilano and enjoy the front gardens that others had. I saw the many ways there are to make a garden. That practice of witnessing the generosity of others sustained me until I had a chance to create my version. Gratitude towards all the gardeners whose efforts kept me happy during those years guided me through the process.Iris germanica ‘Orange Harvest’ with Geum chiloense ‘Mrs. Bradshaw’ and thalictrum foliage. Image credit: Meredith Brehaut

My front garden is open to the sidewalk as I want passersby to enjoy the various views as they walk. The colors are vibrant and joyful – plums and apricots. There is fairly equal mass between the wild chaos of plants and the soothing contrast of grass and flagstones. It is primarily a fall garden, as I like to anticipate, but there is something to look at from March until November. It celebrates and it keeps me happy.

I am out there as often as energy allows, discovering, pleading with, encouraging my beauties. Sometimes someone will walk by and tell me that they enjoy my efforts. I appreciate it, as I remember how I felt, absorbing the gift of another’s garden.

I think Kitsilano is a wonderful community, and I think gardens enhance that sense of community. I am proud to live here. And if you have been gardening in the neighbourhood then thank you.

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Lemon Wave’ and Achillea millefolium ‘Terracotta’, with astrantia and ligularia. Image credit: Meredith Brehaut

Sanguisorba tenuifolia ‘Finale’. Image credit: Meredith Brehaut.

Last modified: April 27, 2012

One Response to " Woman with trowel: Waxing philosophical about garden design "

  1. Michele says:

    As someone who dreams of one day having her own garden, I too appreciate the effort of all the Kits’ gardeners who work so hard to make our community beautiful. Thank you!