Garden Photo of the Day

Sheila’s garden in Newfoundland & Labrador, Day 1

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Boone

Today’s photos are from Sheila Boone in Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. Sheila says, “I’ve noticed of late that you’ve been featuring a number of gardens from exotic locales, which I’ve enjoyed immensely! So, I started to wonder if many (if any) of your loyal followers have seen a garden from the most easterly place in North America! (Cape Spear being the most easterly point, about a 10 minute drive from St. John’s, the capital.)

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Boone

“My husband and I bought an oceanfront property in Musgravetown (about 2.5 hours from St. John’s) about six years ago for a summer retreat and eventually our retirement home. There was a existing farmhouse, which we’ve refurbished, but we are in the process of building a house overlooking the bay. We had to excavate a road and a great deal of rock to get near the ocean and we are finally getting close to completion.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Boone

“The property is approximately 3.5 acres, Canadian zone 5B–a fairly temperate climate for being situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. Although it was once an old farmstead, there had been nothing in the way of a garden for many years. Two apple trees that produce a good quantity of fruit were the only remnants of a planted garden. However, it does have good bones with a forest of spruce, birch, poplar, and mountain ash but lots of overgrown hawthorn and many, many weeds!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Boone

“Did I mention there was a lot of rock? They don’t call Newfoundland “The Rock” for nothing! There are also numerous lovely wildflowers on the property, such as fireweed, rhodora, goldenrod and labrador tea. We refurbished an old root cellar a couple of years ago which is now my potting shed (little white shed with blue trim). We also added a 12′ x 24′ greenhouse last year.”

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Boone

Wow, Sheila–you’ve carved a garden out of seeming wilderness! What a gorgeous setting. It must be a joy to work in such surroundings each day, and your efforts have paid off.

**Stay tuned–tomorrow we get a look at Sheila’s impressive veggie garden!**

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Boone
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Boone
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Boone
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Boone
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Boone
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Boone
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Boone

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  1. trashywoman62 02/21/2013

    Sheila, after seeing your wonderful PHOTOS I had to have a geography lesson on google maps. I've been to Quebec a couple of times. It's so beautiful there. You are really out in the boondocks! But lots of neighbors enjoying those boondocks, too! Exactly 2,480 miles from me...guess I won't be visiting your wonderful garden today, Lol! Your views are fabulous, rainbow and all.

    The first photo with the red lilies and blue delphiniums contrasting together is beautiful as are the combination of the 3 clematis. It looks like you will have a lovely place to enjoy in your golden years.

    Speaking of golden, what is the shrub?, bean? plant in the 2nd photo on the right column? It is really nice.

    Thank you for the visit.

  2. Aarchman07030 02/21/2013

    I imagine I'm not the only city-dweller thinking what a treat it would be to trade the headaches of urban gardening for the headaches of gardening in what looks like Paradise!

    Congratualations on securing your own little piece of heaven, rocks and all--it looks wonderful.

  3. GrnThum 02/21/2013

    Now we know where "Over the Rainbow" is!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/21/2013

    Count me in with trashywoman2...I needed a geography lesson and just came back from visiting what seems to be the official website of Newfoundland Labrador. Thanks, Sheila, for helping to broaden my horizons of knowledge. Your property is gorgeous and will be the site of much happy gardening for years to come. Sigh...imagine working busily... digging, weeding, concentrating on a ground based task and then taking a mini break with looking up and out at that view...WOW!
    Your garden shed is adorable especially with the beautifully bountiful flower filled window planters. Is the house we are seeing the refurbished farm house? Please stop back in and tell us about what style of architecture you have chosen for the new home you are near completion on. Ha, I'm not nosy or anything, huh?!

  5. user-1020932 02/21/2013

    beautiful, idyllic and a storybook quality, , the storybooks just leave out the part about all the work it takes.
    you aren't nosy meander1 i think your inner yankee is fading and you are becoming a true southern girl. can't wait to see the vegetable garden tomorrow

  6. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/21/2013

    So I know it's not a gardening comment, but that is the coolest woodpecker on your bird feeder! Congrats on your beautiful setting in which to make your garden.

  7. soilsister8 02/21/2013

    What an inspiration you are! Please include some panoramic views to include your homes so that we can get an overall 'feel' for each location.
    I am also wondering what the yellow plant is in the 2nd photo.
    You don't have deer issues? I saw delphiniums and hollyhocks. My deer LOVE them both!!

  8. bee1nine 02/21/2013

    To me, it's always refreshing to view relaxed gardens. The
    natural beauty of your surroundings truly make this a
    wonderful choice. AAAH..the glorious view you have and to see
    rainbows too!
    Had to smile:)..your little greenhouse looks just like mine!
    Looking forward to Day 2's veggie garden, as well.

  9. cornergardener 02/21/2013

    Wow! I think we would all agree..we need to see a well illustrated book recording your journey with this beautiful property. Don't forget..lots of pictures!

  10. CCCDDD 02/21/2013

    Very familiar with "the Rock"
    My daughter moved there from Ontario for work. Giving her gardening advice is often interesting. Watering the garden is rarely required!!!
    Someone asked if you had a deer problem.
    No raccoons,skunks,snakes on the island but you do have MOOSE!!

  11. pattyspencer 02/21/2013

    I too took a geography wiki lesson - hard to believe that's a 5B zone but I guess it's warmed by the ocean. Beautiful gardens and the last picture is just the icing on the cake

  12. shineeday 02/21/2013

    Very beautiful piece of heaven on earth. Love the contrasting colors of the flowers. Thank you to TW62 for identifying the flowers displayed here...didn't know I loved clematis until I saw them here. TW62 please identify the flower you have as your post picture....thank you.

  13. user-7006902 02/21/2013

    The furthest East I have been is Quoddy Head, ME. It is beautiful country, much like your paradise. What a beautiful backdrop for your incredible garden.

  14. bee1nine 02/21/2013

    Hi trashywoman62 and soilsister8 I'm going to guess the
    plant in 2nd photo in right side could be commonly known as
    Scarlet runner bean.

  15. sheilab 02/21/2013

    Hi Everyone. Thanks for all your kind comments about this labour of love that I have taken on...oh my aching back!

    The photo you are asking about in the 2nd photo on the right is scarlet runner bean. It grows 12-15 ft high and I plant them for their brilliant red flowers! I love the way they tower over my vegetable garden.

    Yes, most of the time I live in the city and long to be in the country. And, I'm sure it does look like it's in the boondocks! (Is that a play on words with my sir name?) But, it is situated near a large town with all the usual amenities but far enough away to feel isolated if we want to.

    I know it's hard to believe but we don't have deer in Newfoundland & Labrador! But, we do have moose and occasionally see these magnificent creatures meandering through the garden, down to the cove, and jumping in the ocean for a 2 mile swim across the bay! I have not had a problem with them eating my vegetables (yet) but I do know of gardeners who have had their crops completely devoured by them. However, we do have rabbits who eat many veggie leaves (they love carrots and beets) and herbs. The solution that works best for me is to sprinkle hot pepper flakes on the plants when they have had a watering or sprinkle of rain. They hate that! We also have brown squirrels who are mostly pests in the bird feeders but sometimes eat the flower off my tulips.

    The woodpecker on the bird feeder is a Downy Woodpecker. They are fairly shy birds, so it's nice to to capture them in a photo.

    The white house in the photo is the refurbished farmhouse. As for the new house architecture, is based on "Newfoundland Modern" with nautical references.

    2,480 miles is a long way away but I feel that gardeners have a special connection the world over, no matter the zone, geographic location or garden style.

  16. user-1020932 02/21/2013

    not sure how i would react if i found moose in my garden. i did just read that st johns is rated the 4th most colorful city in the world. so much i did not know about newfoundland and you are so right about the connection between gardeners. i have used baby powder to keep rabbits out of lettuce and spinach but with each rain or heavy dew you have to re apply

  17. annek 02/21/2013

    All are beautiful photos, but I particularly enjoyed the misty backdrop for your greenhouse. Sigh....just lovely

  18. Happily_Gardening 02/21/2013

    The things that came to mind as I looked have all been said so I'll just say "I second, third, etc., that!"
    Can't wait for tomorrow's views.

  19. trashywoman62 02/21/2013

    Sheila, I didn't even notice your last name was Boone! When I was younger, boondocks meant way out in the country and when I saw the aerial view of NL, Canada it reminded me of the word. I, like you, am amazed this wonderful thing called the Internet can make us all garden neighbors. And we can even have a cup of coffee or tea together while we enjoy each other's garden. And thank you and Bee1nine for identifying the bean. The last one like that I grew ornamentally had light pink flowers.

    Shineday, I was looking back thru posts for who TW62 was when you wrote that. Ha, then I realized it was Me! Do your homework before planting clematis, sometimes they can be finicky about how they are planted. Won't go into it here, just read about planting them online.

    My avatar is Kniphofia, unknown variety, also called Red Hot Poker or Torch Lily. I just love them and have a several different ones, some are brighter colors than others. Their clump grows larger each year and if you cut off older stalks, you get more stalks, just shorter. Hummers like them too.

  20. user-1020932 02/21/2013

    i'm thinking that potluck at michelles needs to be upgraded to a bus tour. sounds like a moneymaker as i'm sure it would sell out. another project for Michelle

  21. greenthumblonde 02/21/2013

    Just beautiful! I think if I had to move all those rocks I'd make something out of them. How about a dry stack stone wall? Awesome property. Beautiful garden.

  22. MichelleGervais 02/21/2013

    Hmmmm, a bus much fun would THAT be!? But more realistic, perhaps, might be a summer gathering centered around the northeast--a big party (my house?? Yikes!), tour of the FG office (not terribly exciting), plus drive-yourself group visits to some killer public gardens and perhaps some Garden Conservancy open gardens...does that sound at all interesting? Would anyone actually come from long distances? Keep in mind--this is just off the top of my head....It is not an official plan or anything.

  23. Happily_Gardening 02/21/2013

    trashywoman62 - You see a lot of Red Hot Pokers here in CA, often used in border plantings. As you mentioned the clumps grow quite large, so much so they've become a medium height semi hedge with oodles of flower torches sprouting out. For those not familiar with this pretty and a tad unusual looking plant, here's a few references about...

  24. Happily_Gardening 02/21/2013

    tntreeman and Michelle - you two are planting good seeds in fertile soils! How neat it would be to see the FG office where all that creativity percolates, tour area gardens, experience the beauty of the Northeast and end it all with a huge feast in your backyard. I've been told my potato salad is pretty darn good ;).

  25. carolakxxx 02/21/2013

    Sighhh, simply beautiful. I love getting lost in these beautiful gardens.

  26. tractor1 02/21/2013

    When my daughter was two she wanted a dog, she picked an adorable black puppy from a shelter but no one mentioned how large a Newfoundland Hound grows but a wonderful gentle giant. When I was in the navy my ship made several visits to Labrador, a beautifully rugged destination... I always planned on returning but that just never happened, and even though I could have traveled from Long Island by ferry I kept putting it off. A fellow I worked with retired to Nova Scotia, no one I know has ever heard from him, that was more than twenty years ago. Were it me I'd leave most of those few acres natural, I'd not disturb the wildflower meadow... and one day you'll be very thankful that you didn't create gardens requiring lots of maintenece... you can always add more wildflowers. Shiela, you've embarked on a grand adventure, enjoy!

    Great whale watching:

  27. sheilab 02/21/2013

    Thanks greenthumbblond...I've been working on those rocks and have used quite a few for edging garden beds. There are so many large ones and sometimes the ground just seems to be one huge rock!

    Tractor1, I totally agree with leaving most of garden natural as I enjoy wandering through the cool shade of the forest to the ocean. There are many birds and small animals that count on the natural environment for food and shelter. Besides, I can't imagine how I'd manage the work in years to come if I tried to develop the whole property. I also love the fact that there are gorgeous wild flowers and ferns that I had nothing to do with planting.

    Shameless Plug....Perhaps the North East is just too far away to ever consider, but if travel in an FG organized tour bus is even a remote possibility, come visit Newfoundland through June-August to see whales, seabirds, icebergs and miles of untouched natural seacoast. And, of course, there's the Memorial University Botanical Garden in St. John's, open from May-October.

  28. janetsfolly 02/21/2013

    Ah, Sheila, I'm charmed! Truly the edge of Eden. I was taking another look at your woodpecker and noticed a 'stairway to heaven' beyond him?!? You have a soul-soothing retreat to look forward to.
    And Michelle, this tour/gathering sounds better and better! And I love potato salad ;-)!

  29. cwheat000 02/22/2013

    So wonderful! Nature's finest accented nicely! Thank you Sheila for some really stunning vistas.

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  31. islandgirl28 10/23/2013

    Hi Sheila

    I really enjoyed your picture. I live in St. John's. What is the secret to growing Clamatis? I have 2 in my garden, I just moved one to a more sunny location. The other one has a large Pinkine Winkie Hydrangia growing in front of it so is fairly hidden. I may move it. The both bloom but not too much. The one in your garden is beautiful. My sister lives in Dearborn Michigan and she told me to put some mulch on them, is this a good idea.

    Thanks for any info you can give me.


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