Garden Photo of the Day

Linda & Terry’s garden in Ontario

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Walsh

Today’s photos are from Linda and Terry Walsh in Simcoe, Ontario. Linda says, “My husband and I have been working on our garden for the past 27 years. We started with 5 acres of old red pines and poison ivy! We lugged and burned all of the dead and diseased trees and replaced them with specimen trees. The soil, being almost pure sand, required constant watering. We finally got tired of lugging hoses and put in an irrigation system. This system has given us the energy to keep up with the daily tasks of pruning and edging.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Walsh

“Over the years we have have planted many rhododendrons and hydrangeas and now grow our own from cuttings. The irrigation system has helped many trees such as redbuds grow from seeds and we now have over 30 redbuds and 20 dogwoods. All three ponds have been dug by hand, the latest one just outside our kitchen window. When we’re not weeding, pruning, or mowing lawn we like to spend time with our dogs, peacocks, and beautiful koi.”

Wow, Linda, amazing! Thanks so much for sharing!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Walsh
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Walsh
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Walsh
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Walsh
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Walsh
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Walsh
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Walsh
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Walsh
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Walsh

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View Comments


  1. user-1020932 03/05/2013

    and yet another beautiful site, parklike. in the third photo down directly across from the japanese maple across the path, what is that shrub? it almost looks like Loropetalum but i didn't think they grew that far north. great job and the dogs seem to love it too
    meander1: [email protected] i know you will see this early :)

  2. user-1020932 03/05/2013

    maybe that's a weeping beech, it's early and i'm not sure of anything

  3. wGardens 03/05/2013

    Fabulous! A tremendous undertaking but, WOW! What amazing results. Great teamwork.

  4. user-1020932 03/05/2013

    it is beautiful and i can understand full well the need for an irrigation system but tell me how do you keep the english ivy under control? on properties here that have it by the time we finish trimming it,,,,,,,,it's time to start again with the clippers

  5. CatChaletdesanges 03/05/2013


    You and your husband have done an incredible job. Your garden is beautiful. I noticed you have no fence. How do you keep the deer from eating your flowers?

  6. lovemyyard 03/05/2013

    I too want to know how you keep the deer at bay, or are the photos all before they have begun munching. I love how you have treated the slopes.

  7. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/05/2013

    Linda, you and your husband have created a magical paradise...spring must be particularly amazing with all the rhodies, redbuds and dogwoods in bloom. It truly doesn't get any more breathtakingly beautiful than that. I could spend the day just staring at that second picture down with that alluring curve to the swath of grass and the flowering trees beckoning my eyes forward...just perfect!

  8. brainbear 03/05/2013

    Thanks for all of your positive comments, they help us get up the energy for the Spring! Yes the english ivy does grow; to think it all started from a small cutting. The tree across from the japanese maple is a weeping copper beach which is approximately 60 years old.

  9. bee1nine 03/05/2013

    Linda and Terry- Wow! A majestic feel in every way!! You both
    have produced such grand results. A good budget-cutter and
    rewarding project for taking your own cuttings- I so admire
    Thanks for your "Think Spring" photos!

  10. Wife_Mother_Gardener 03/05/2013

    What a beautiful garden! The hydrangeas in the woods are just perfect... so well sited. And your edges do look so neat and orderly. You have done a great job, Linda & Terry! Thanks for sharing!

  11. tractor1 03/05/2013

    A beautifully parked out five acres. There may not be deer at that location but also many of those plants are generally not eaten by deer... I see mostly trees and shurbs that deer avoid, I see no flower beds that deer would forage. That tree is no ordinary weeping copper leafed beech; it looks to me like:

  12. grdnldy 03/05/2013

    What a beautiful paradise you've created! I have sandy soil too and know first-hand how much work goes into amending the soil - kudos to you. Your gardens are very artistically laid out and I love how the colors interplay with each other.

  13. siesperanza 03/05/2013

    What a paradise you've created. Thanks for sharing with us.

  14. siesperanza 03/05/2013

    What a paradise you've created. Thanks for sharing with us.

  15. caymanmama 03/05/2013

    Linda, Your property is like a beautiful park! It looks like a wonderful place to hold a wedding! All your hard work sure paid off. Thanks for sharing!

  16. NevadaSue 03/05/2013

    Linda, what a beautiful outcome to years of your team work. This is truly a peaceful and gorgeous work of love as well and a wonderful woodland retreat. I love every bit of it. Thanks for giving us such inspiration just as spring opens its doors. :) I know I'll be coming back to feast my eyes and fill my soul again.

  17. appaloosa 03/05/2013

    Could you identify the yellow flowers in pictures 4 and 5?
    I agree ivy on the trees and ground is very hard to control.

  18. tractor1 03/05/2013

    appaloosa: the photos are a bit too fuzzy to make out details but my guess is since it's early spring that those yellow flowers are crowds of daffs.

  19. wittyone 03/05/2013

    Treeman about controlling the ivy. I manage to contain (not control it) by edging. I use blocks of limestone edging about 4 inches tall around the areas of ivy. It has to climb over the edging and then down again before it can start rooting past the edge. If you trim about once or twice a year it won't have made the leap over the barrier and you can just grab loose handfuls at the top of the edging and cut it back without having to pull the individual vines up by the roots and then cut. Does take some time but is not nearly so laborious.

  20. janeeliz 03/05/2013

    I can't even begin to imagine all the hard work you did to create this beautiful, joyful park/garden. I'd like to be walking through right now-frolicing with your wonderful dogs amongst the redbuds! And how special it must be to hear/see a peacock walking in one's garden....

  21. brainbear 03/05/2013

    HI Again,
    The yellow flowers are perennial alyssum. The neat thing about this plant is that it reseeds itself and only requires pruning every second or third year. The deer are not a problem because the shepherd has been trained (I also show and train dogs in my "spare" time) to pee on the borders of the property, this seems to keep the deer away. My biggest problem is voles, does anyone have a cure; not Moles, but voles. They chew my azaleas off at ground level. I am tired of cutting plastic collars for all of my azaleas and rhodos.

  22. user-1020932 03/05/2013

    i have battled voles for years and have tried everything on the market with limited control NOT success. now i try to find active trails/holes and set a plain old mousetrap at the hole. i don't even bait it, they come out of the hole and trip the trap. i admit it's a stab in the dark as i am surrounded by acres of pasture and hay . someone told me to get a couple of jack russell terriers but i don't think i would have a lawn left. i would love to find the final solution to the vole problem here

  23. tractor1 03/05/2013

    brainbear: Sweeny's Solar Spikes will get rid of your voles, moles, and gophers. sells them. Lowe's sells them.

  24. bee1nine 03/05/2013

    Hi, I'm bouncing back in again regarding your last photo.
    Made me chuckle to see the nifty little golf cart. A great
    handy machine to get around in.- Do you both golf? Just
    thought I'd ask. I'm not really a golfer myself, but do enjoy
    watching some PGA Tours on TV. I shall confess..for a few
    years now,I have been working as the gardener for some golf
    courses, here on the Cape.

  25. tractor1 03/05/2013

    bee1nine: That golf kart is cute but my cart is far more versatile for gardening... my neighbor has one of those golf carts and already I pulled him out of the mud twice... those golf carts have small skinny tires, not much power, and no four wheel drive. Distances are great on my property... I'd otherwise spend too much time and effort walking about lugging tools and supplies, this cart is a real multi-talented workhorse.

    Those spikes work great for me. It can take about a week for them to take effect, and in dense moist soil like mine they work best... I've heard not as well in very sandy dry soil. The directions say to pull them during winter but I leave them in the ground all year, they work fine in sub zero temperatures and covered with snow. They cover a lot more area than claimed. I have a dozen going spread about to protect various planting areas, I paid $18 at Lowe's and have been using them for five years now... I've been vole free for less than $20/yr, and no harm to the critters.

  26. user-1020932 03/05/2013

    tractor1 i'm glad they work for you and you solved your problem. after you suggested them to me i put out a query to the garden ring i belong to locally and got 47 replies saying they had no success with them. maybe it's our soil, maybe it's these "hillbilly voles" i don't know. i have found no solution but can control them somewhat with bait station not accessible by other animals and old fashioned Victor mousetraps. i wish those spikes would work for me. the hawks cleared the rabbits out maybe i need owls for voles. i would welcome owls anytime

  27. janetsfolly 03/06/2013

    Wow, you guys have created a beautiful property! I am so impressed that you started all those trees and shrubs from seeds and cuttings...ah, the patience of a gardener.
    I solved my vole and chipmunk problem with a kitty. She will sit by their holes for HOURS and has pretty much eliminated what was a pretty serious infestation. Of course, cats are unpredictable and you sure can't train 'em! I found the mole stakes to be pretty good but need to get more to really solve the problem.

  28. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/06/2013

    Gotta' chime in and say yes to the kitties on helping to control voles (our two are barn cats and one has a particularly well developed hunting instinct) and, also, yay to a golf cart. Mine is modified a little and has a 3.5'x3.5' aluminium bed and it has been invaluable to me in carting around tools and weed or mulch filled buckets. We also have 2 Kawasaki Mules and the golf cart has never gotten into trouble where it needed to be "rescued" by a mule (except when I have carelessly run out of gas). Linda, seeing your dog sitting happily on the golf cart seat made me smile in a fond way!

  29. tractor1 03/06/2013

    janetsfolly: Those solar spikes probably don't work well in all cases, I think it's mostly because people are miserly and spread them out too far apart. For my 50' X 50' vegetable garden I used four and they work well but the voles moved out into the surrounding fields, I see their mounds when I mow but I don't care, it's only a hay field that I decided to mow, and I can't see the mounds until I'm right on top of them (I aim for them with the tractor wheels to no avail). I put more spikes around the circumference of my house amongst the foundation plantings (those stinkin' voles loved snacking on my rug juniper roots, nearly killed them all and they are just now reviving), the spikes are working great. I don't concern myself with the rodents out in the fields, they are there to feed all the raptors, there are lots of hawks, eagles, and owls here... not to mention my two half feral barn cats and all the entire community of feral cats that hunt here. Many of my neighbors have cats, but they only come indoors for a quick bowl of food and then they are outdoors all day and night. The feral cats being as nocturnal as the rodents do a very good job of keeping that population at bay... even if well fed cats don't need to be trained to hunt, it's in their DNA. If you put the tinypic links I post into your browser you will readly see that there is no way I can spike all of my 16 acres, nor do I intend to. I like having all the critters here. And all the critters serve an important natural purpose, there is no way I'm going to put out poison or kill traps.

  30. Plant_Paradise 03/06/2013

    Beautiful gardens! My brother lives in Simcoe, Ontario so I know the challenge you have growing in sand. You are so fortunate to have such beautiful rhododendrons and azaleas in those conditions, especially with the amount of deer in Simcoe.

  31. tractor1 03/06/2013

    Rodents are a very important part of the food chain, get rid of them and the raptors and many animals would depart. You've obviously never driven a tractor (or any other vehicle) across a field and know little about those critters, couldn't squish them with tires on moist ground where they exist if you tried, their bodies are too supple, and besides they feel the vibrations and quickly dive deep underground or scatter out of the way... I only drive over their mounds to flatten the dirt before my rear mower blades hit them and hope the critters move on but they don't, within hours they excavate a new mound. Don't you think that if all it took to get rid of those underground critters was to drive over them there'd be no other eradicating items hawked... I drive right over some of those rodents when I rough mow my wildflower meadow and they just pop right up and vamoose, frogs, snakes, and other critters the same. And if you think I believe you catch them with unbaited mouse traps I don't, maybe folks at your watering hole buy into that BS. And those spikes definitely work, most folks buy one or two to try and within a week come right back to buy all they can afford... the shelves are constantly emptied... they work and work very well... anyone who's interested can read the comments at Amazon and other sites where they're sold... I don't imagine there's any other way to find 47 people who have tried those spikes except in ones dreams.

  32. passwords 03/06/2013

    What a lovely garden. You certainly can be proud. Great job. Like seeing the birds and dogs, too. Thanks for sharing.

  33. user-1020932 03/09/2013

    ok, i had to come back for another visit. absolutely beautiful

  34. brainbear 03/12/2013

    Hi Tractor1
    I could not get the website for the copper beech you mentioned in your comments to come up. Can you send me a picture? Mine is at least 60 or more years old and was sold as a weeping copper beech, but the label could be wrong.
    [email protected]

  35. user-6243015 02/10/2015

    click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
    Read more:
    is broken

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