Here is a snapshot from Alice Fleurkens garden, full of many surprises.
"The garden is in Sweaburg, Ontario and I get a lot of praise from a lot of people. We have a hill and I like working with rocks. Our garden is ever changing and really a never ending work of art that gives me a lot of Satisfaction. It is full of surprises. Also the birds, rabbits, chipmunks and neighbourhood like it. It is never perfect, there is always something to give away or move because it got too big. And sometimes I have to bring it to the city yard for composting. If people only knew the treasures to be found there for free. I used some of the extra plants for a garden in the park behind us. And my husband gets all the credit for cutting the lawn. I try weeding before he does that so they get picked up by the lawnmower."
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Hello there Alice - Great to have a virtual tour of your beautiful Ontario garden. Yes it is a work of art - in progress, as is the case for all gardens. I am also a rock loving person - love using them on a slope for retaining walls (dry stone) and for borders of paths and tracks etc. Your work with rocks is fantastic. Boy the rocks for the border near the house (6th pic.) are large. Bet you needed to use machinery to position them!
Here in Metung, Victoria, Australia we don't have chipmunks, but rather problems with wombats in gardens (to help you with the id. of these Aussie nocturnal marsupials, I have attached a pic. - cute, but very destructive!).
No garden is perfect so don't feel that it is a problem. It is all about continuous improvement and having fun during the process I say. Nice pond, and team work with your husband to achieve such a lovely garden. Cheers, Frank
Cute? I am glad I don't run into a wombat in my garden. I will take the pesky chipmunks.
Actually Kev they cause enormous damage to cars when they wander onto the road at night (take out the whole undercarriage of the car). Tough as nails!
That's amazing, Frank. They look like they'd just be roadkill instead of car destroyers. They are adorable little monsters! Thanks for the education.
Oh, my, they are cute but look sizable enough to command respect. I think I need to do a google read about them.
They are a nice marsupial Michaele, but just not in one's garden!
Now, that's what I'd call a cute little devil!
Hi Sheila - We have a Tasmanian Devil in the island State of Tasmania (just south of Victoria)(see pic.) Do you reckon that's also cute?
FYI wombats are about 40 inches long and weigh 45 -75lb, and they are all muscle.
Good morning, Frank. Cute pic and I think that I'd take wombats over deer. They can't jump as high so it'd be easier to fence them out:)
Hi Linda - the problem is that they dig under fences. Their holes are very big, and they are also powerful enough to bulldoze their way under fences.
Well, then, I guess I'll stick to deer and bunnies so that I at least know what I'm dealing with. You have a lot of scary critters in Oz, Frank.
It's not that bad really, Linda!
Love this map, Frank. Hey did you see today's post?( Friday, your Sat.) I didn't get it by email so went to the FG site and found it but I was the only commenter and there is a new admin person.
Linda, the post was more than 12 hours late, and because of withdrawal symptoms I contacted Kim (the new admin. person; been a few changes!) via email. Kim explained that that the admin. is in transition etc. etc., and that it was being fixed. I went to bed and have just seen the new post (well done Kim). Have a good Saturday Linda. Cheers, Frank
Going under, Linda.
Frank. From Australia,cool. No we don,t have that much muscle. The large rocks where put in by our son with the bobcat. From there up, wheelbarrow, appliance cart, (my favourite) shovel or if all,else fails muscle power. We already have the Australian possum. But thankfully no wombats or Tasmanian devils. We have no pond either. That area is black mulch on a rather steep hill. Nice map Frank.
Thanks for responding Alice. There are a couple of other GPOD'ers from Canada (Cooee, Kriss - where are you?). The Canadians and Aussies seem to have a similar sense of humour - although I bet you are not laughing about those bl...y. possums.
It took me a while to work out that it was the angle of the dark mulch. Please keep participating in GPOD. It is great to have the blog internationalised. Cheers, Frank
Totally agree, talk about animals, any skunks there? They like to eat the grubs in the lawn, but the smell alone will wake one out of a deep sleep.
Hey Alice - No skunks here thank goodness, but we have some lovely echidnas (egg laying mammal, commonly called spiny ant eaters) and plenty of kookaburras in our garden. You should come down and have a look at our lovely public and private gardens in Oz. We would look after you. Cheers, Frank
Frank is that your beautiful yard I am seeing. The ant eater seems useful. We have anthills here for them to munch on. Believe me I would love to come to Australia with my husband.
Hi Alice - yes it is the garden of our holiday home. My first post on GPOD was in Feb this year. Here is the link FYI. Hope you and your husband can make it down here one day. Cheers
Alice, beautiful gardens and lush plants! I live across our Great Lake in NY, Sodus Bay. I luv our zone, and find great climate for growing. Question, is the fuscia plant in the blue pot a potato vine variation or a coleus? I have one,, for the first time. It does not grow as a vine and is prolific. Your stonework is a strong element in your design---love it! Rocks from the Lake? I am 76. And still trying to garden with multiple mobility issues. Wish my strong sons were still around to harvest the shores of stone ! You are amazing to work the hillside palette of art that you have! Keep the spirit. Thanks ! Carol
To Aussie, Did. You see a pond? I can't.
Hi Carol - I may be wrong, but I thought photo 4 (i.e. the one with the collection of rocks) was a water feature/pond. There is reflection off some of the rocks on what I think is water. Cheers, Frank
On further inspection, I think I'm wrong (there is a second layer of rocks i.e. not a reflection) - sorry Carol. A kangaroo loose in the top paddock again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie - Oi, Oi, Oi
Alice, you have creating a very natural terrace with the rocks. The planting seeds are diverse with a nice mix of color. Well done. I am a big fan of ornamental grasses. It looks like you have a fair number of sedum that are about to bloom in the next few weeks. Mine are just starting here in Harrisburg. The bees are very happy now.
You certainly have a lovely balance of evergreens and perennials, Alice...all so beautifully set off by the generous inclusion of rocks and stones. I especially like the pops of blue from the spruces and the variety of ornamental grass that definitely has a blue tone. Your healthy looking heucheras are giving me a stab of envy...mine are transitioning from just having crispy edged leaves to being in the full throes of a death spiral. Nice to see yours looking so flower laden and happy.
Just gorgeous!! Love every bit of it.
Beautiful Alice. The rock work and plantings in the front are a textural treat. It would take me forever to get to the front door, there is so much to enjoy.
I'm ready to move in, Alice. Looks so great. I dream of having large, roughly dressed stones like you have in the photo of the front of your house (bordering a driveway or parking pad?). Love all of your stonework and the plantings. Great choice of Heucheras and love the specimens trees (beech and evergreen). I love how you have showcased the blue grass. It looks like one of my favorites, Helictotrichon sempervirens: yes?
Do you know the cultivar of the lavender in the first photo? I never seem to be able to find a variety with flower that tight and in that color.
Thank you for your nice comments,
The large stones are limestone from the quarry, our son put them in with the bobcat,however the smaller limestone has been built into the hill by myself to look like a rocky hill. The common name for the blue grass is blue oat grass. I believe the lavender Flowers so tight because I cut it back by 2/3 in the spring. Then once after the first flowering. I have no idea what kind though, but it is just about. To flower for the second time.
Your compositions are lovely!
Your gardens are very, very happy, Alice, from the evergreens to the shrubs and trees to the perennials. All are so beautifully sassy, especially the Heucheras... there were so many flowers in the 5th image I thought they were a different plant! And the positioning of all the rocks... perfect!
Love your rock bed leading up to your house, Alice, and your choice of plantings, especially the pops of purple in the heucheras and barberries mixed in with the blue grasses. Everything looks so beautiful. Oh, did I mention that I also like the way that you put that weeping beech with the grafted(?) conifers in your back bed? And is that a ligularia in a pot?
Hi linda. Thanks for your nice comments. No the deck is higher then the garden. The ligularias are in the garden beside the deck
Wow ! The plants & that rock !!!! Wow !!!!!!!!
Love all the rock. Hope you have strong muscles to move those big ones.
It may be wishful thinking, but I thought I saw what could be ponds in several of the pictures. Either way, it's beautiful. I can only say "me too!" to all the complimentary comments. Hi Frank. That wombat is cute, but BIG! No wonder they do so much damage. They are not all muscle - I saw some pretty impressive teeth too. Guess I'll stick with the darn deer and rabbits...
Hi Shirley - I also made the mistake of thinking there was a pond. Linda is prepared to take the wombat rather than the deer, but she doesn't realise how extensively the wombat scratches and burrows in the ground. Cheers, Frank
Delightful. Really love the conifers, and certainly all the stones.
Love it all.....your rocks, grasses, heucheras are fantastic! Glad you have no wombats to tear it up!!
Hi diane. I am so thrilled with all the comments. Yes I too love The white wheeping spruce. Every year it gets about 18" taller. It did not take long to get to that heights, so yours will be that hight soon i should thnk
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