Ex­otic gar­dens

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES -

The sight of a gor­geous climb­ing rose on the grounds of ro­man­tic Jardin de Ba­gatelle in Paris in­spired Walker to plant a climb­ing rose against an obelisk in her back­yard. She chose John Davis from the Cana­dian Ex­plorer se­ries, a hardy climb­ing rose with dou­ble pink blooms that was spe­cially de­vel­oped at the Mor­den Ar­bore­tum Re­search Sta­tion, so it is well-suited to sur­vive our Man­i­toba win­ters. “There are many other in­spi­ra­tions from our trav­els,” says Walker, “that are not in my gar­den but per­haps some­day.” Most no­tably, Walker re­calls the peb­ble mo­saics in the Chi­nese gar­den court­yards at the Sun Yat Sen gar­den in Van­cou­ver and at the Flo­ri­ade, an in­ter­na­tional hor­ti­cul­ture expo held ev­ery 10 years in the Nether­lands. Spring in the Nether­lands at­tracts vis­i­tors from around the world. Irene Friesen trav­elled from her home in Pi­nawa in March of 2012 so she could catch the first colour­ful ex­pres­sion of masses of flow­er­ing bulbs in vivid bloom at Keuken­hof near Am­s­ter­dam. Her trip of a life­time in­cluded vis­its to Malta, Ger­many and Switzer­land. Keuken­hof, known as the Gar­den of Europe, stirred her senses. “If you travel to see only one gar­den,” says Friesen, “Keuken­hof will ex­ceed your ex­pec­ta­tions.” Friesen says there are three gar­den at­tributes that linger with her. First, sculp­ture and gar­dens are part­ners, she says. “In Europe,” de­scribes Friesen, “there has been a ma­jor philo­soph­i­cal shift away from ro­man­ti­cism. The con­tem­po­rary gar­den is an un­usual syn­the­sis of satir­i­cal, fu­tur­is­tic, ur­bane and joy­ous ex­pres­sion.” When Friesen, who has cre­ated her own de­signs as a pot­ter, stepped into a small, treed gar­den room dom­i­nated by a dragon sculp­ture, her in­spi­ra­tion was not to mimic the de­sign, but rather she viewed it as a whim­si­cal re­minder all of us have the ca­pac­ity to breathe fire about the is­sues we are pas­sion­ate about. And to also be the friendly dragon that plays with the chil­dren who en­joy our gar­dens. Friesen was struck by the func­tion­al­ity of the gar­dens she vis­ited. Bee­hives in city gar­dens are a com­mon sight. Herbs and veg­eta­bles grown in pub­lic gar­dens are used by chefs in recipes at gar­den restau­rants. Friesen took spe­cial note of the rows of trimmed box­wood used to sep­a­rate square plant­ings of herbs as a tool to con­trol cross-pol­li­na­tion. Some gar­den­ers will space their plants such as French thyme a dis­tance away from an­other herb such as Ital­ian thyme to avoid spread­ing dom­i­nant flavours. Friesen plans to bor­row from the idea of cre­at­ing bor­ders of small clipped hedges for her own herb gar­den, but in­stead of box­wood, which is not re­li­able in our cli­mate, she will sub­sti­tute a va­ri­ety of bar­berry, a dense, small-leaved or­na­men­tal shrub with an added bonus — deer re­sis­tance. Cherry Bomb bar­berry, a new list­ing for 2015, for ex­am­ple, is a low-grow­ing shrub with crim­son fo­liage and bright red berries in fall and win­ter. Friesen is in­tro­duc­ing her­self to the eco­log­i­cal de­sign prin­ci­ples that form the ba­sis of per­ma­cul­ture, a sus­tain­able prac­tice that has a pres­ence in most of the Euro­pean gar­dens she vis­ited. She ob­served that not only is close at­ten­tion paid in Euro­pean gar­dens to com­pan­ion plant­ing as a non-chem­i­cal means to re­duce the use of pes­ti­cides, but also there is of­ten the close prox­im­ity of wet­lands to for­mal gar­dens.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.