Gardens have always beckoned me since I was a girl. I love the colours, lushness, meandering paths and hidden surprises. I like looking beyond or through a garden to the haphazard backdrops and surprising framings worthy of a painting. Everyone who views a garden sees it in a slightly different way, just as everyone who reads a poem takes a slightly different message from it.
Whenever I find a garden that appeals to me, I always ask permission to photograph it. Sometimes I keep the photos in my art file, and other times I share them. This well textured garden in King's Cove, Bonavista Bay, NL, lovingly tended by Veronica and Kevin Mahoney was meant to be shared.
Come along and visit Veronica and Kevin's garden through my eyes.
Gardens need surprises at every turn. And depending on the vantage points the same spot should have a variety of looks and feels.
I am definitely attracted to the partially hidden aspects of a garden that you catch by looking through structural elements. In this case a sparse grove of aspen trees provides interesting framing for the bed beyond. You can catch a glimpse of a cozy seating area.
Moving to the left a little brings you to one of my favourite aspects of this garden. A bench nestled in the bank of tree trunks provides a shady spot to sit and look at the plantings beyond.
A second seating area is hidden beyond a bed of shrubs and perennials. The lamppost provides a strong vertical focus where almost everything else is the same height. Variety in heights is important for an interesting space. While the garden has a well tended look it also meanders from the cultivated edges to wilder land behind it. This transition really works and makes the garden appear much larger than it actually is.
And here's the seating area you can just barely glimpse in the photo above. I like the fact that the colour of this seating doesn't fight with the red bench beyond it.
Moving behind another bed and looking the opposite way reveals two more interesting features: a bird bath and an anchor. At least our truck blends into this shot. I didn't have the heart to ask hubby to move it a second time. He's sitting in his favourite spot waiting patiently for me to finish shooting.
And how is this for a vantage point? Even the church on the next property is a part of the garden!
Looking toward the house from the bench. Yes, I love that bench!
An interesting plant hanger built by Kevin. There's a second one by the step.
Because the house is on a high hill you have a great veiw of King's Cove harbour and several of the houses surrounding it.
I am such a sucker for looking up when I take shots. This is a big reward.
When you look up you are greeted by a stunningly refurbished house. The two patios provide interesting views of the garden.
Another bed of perennials creeps up the hill toward the back of the house to a third sitting area just outside the back door. Aren't the variety of stone walls interesting? Here's a closer look.....
Following a stone path beyond will bring you to the fourth seating area at the top of a hill behind the house. This provides a totally different feel and view of the whole area.
You can look right out the bay as far as the eye can see. The houses beside the property actually become part of the composition of the garden. How great is it to have a yellow building with red trim next to your property! It is such a strong focal point and it adds additional colour when the blooms disappear. .
While heading down the path again, I was treated to a close up view of numerous butterflies sailing around a false spirea.
Thank you Veronica and Kevin for allowing us to visit your garden.
5 garden planning tips from this garden visit:
- Consider what lies beyond your garden and use it to advantage. It might not be yours, but it can be part of your composition.
- Use meandering paths to connect different parts of your space, and use the same treatment for all of them: crushed stone, brick, slate etc. This continuity adds cohesiveness to the composition.
- Always keep parts of your garden hidden from view and lead the visitor to them by using meandering paths and plantings.
- Have several seating areas to provide choice during different parts to the day or to provide different viewing vantage points.
- Have a strong mix of flowering shrubs and perennials if you want to be a carefree gardener.