Here is a collection of gardens that speak of home to me. Literally and figuratively.
These are places that move me, and places that bring me equal measure of wonder and respite.
Two are located in my present home, and the others are found near my home away from home, a former home and my first home.
Some of these enchanting gardens I am very familiar with while others though not intimate, I know enough to love. All are worth a visit.
My literal home. A garden 17 years in the making.
My biggest challenge now is renewing plants. This year I tackled my 19 year old Wisteria. Alas no blooms next year.
An Iris hedge which I started from a piece given by a friend. The flowers from the original decorated my wedding cake 33 years ago.
I’ve spent over a decade hiding a retaining wall by creating an early ‘living wall’.
This garden that was true love at first sight. Burle Marxs garden is found near my first home, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The ‘sítio’ contains an incredible tapestry of plants and artwork, encompassing all styles and mediums but almost all, native to the region.
A man who considered himself an artist first and botanist second, Mr. Marx painted with foliage plants.
From a sunny and humid climate to a cool and damp one, Regents park London. My home away from home for decades. London was often my route during my days as a flight attendant and I visited some part of Regents park whenever I was there.
A wealth of bulbs is an understatement. The British do gardening at an Uber level.
There are Mediterranean gardens, rose gardens containing 12000 roses, water gardens and secret gardens. From Victorian to contemporary, Regents park in North West London is 395 acres huge.
This is but of small section of one of the many gardens scattered around Regents park. Some are hidden treasures that reward the visitor with delightful discoveries and intimate spaces so keep looking.
My first home in Canada, Toronto. I discovered Allan Gardens Conservatory in the heart of downtown Toronto, with my mother. Ever since we visit annually before the holidays, just when their Christmas flower show is about to start.
I LOVE being inside a conservatory or greenhouse when the weather outside is frightful. You can stroll inside where it is warm and bright and filled with colour. I’d give it a minimum ½ hour.
The late afternoon sun is equally beautiful inside as out, though it is far more comfortable to linger in its rays inside.
There is a succulent house, an orchideum (?), turtles and bananas and super enriched oxygen. Benches are scattered around occupied by people sitting with a book and enjoying their surroundings.
This part of the world was ‘home’ to me for a short time, a mere six weeks, but it deepened my love of gardening and nature, maturing it into a lifestyle rather than a hobby. Château de Villandry in the Loire valley of France.
Villandry where food is grown in parterres in a sunken garden. A very elegant potager.
Viewed from a floral parterre several levels up.
Last but by no means least … the Halifax Public Gardens.
It has enriched my life immeasurable and has led me down a path I would never have anticipated.
The story of this garden is a work in progress and the focus of alongthegardenspath.com
We hope to see you (well maybe not all 414 of you 🙂 this coming Thursday, December 11 at Horticulture Halll between 5-7PM. Come celebrate the holiday season with The Friends of the Public Gardens.
(FYI: we only take cash or cheque for calendar and other PG themed purchases. A cash bar will be available).
If we don’t cross paths…
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays. Be safe and enjoy spending time with people you care about.
May all your challenges in 2015 be an opportunity to grow.
Happy New Year, Bonne Aneé, Feliz ano novo y Feliz año nuevo.
All copy and images copyright © Serena Graham-Dwyer, 2014. If you wish to use any part or whole of an image, in any manner, please contact us.