The first words out of Julie’s mouth some five odd years ago, on the day I first met her, was the botanical Latin name of a plant. Kindred spirits unite! We were both members of the ‘Digging in the Dirt,’ a committee within the local Hort Society that met every Tuesday morning to assist with the tending and beautification of some twenty odd gardens throughout town. It was only a matter of time before I managed to finagle a private tour of her own gardens.
I was aware that Julie was a rock garden enthusiast, but was surprised to see that one can rock garden in the shade! Who would have guessed? I love when I learn something new! I posted my first interview with Julie here, and was more than thrilled when she somewhat reluctantly agreed to be my very first guest on ‘Botanical Trespassing,’ a segment within ‘Through the Garden Gate,’ my new one hour radio show that highlights and features gardens and gardeners within Centre Wellington. I knew she was nervous, but I am the first to congratulate her on a stellar performance. It was just like we were standing in her back yard having a garden related conversation!
Julie’s gardens were recently highlighted on the annual Garden Tour, hosted by the Fergus Horticultural Society, and I was thrilled when, on the night that the episode of ‘Through the Garden Gate,’ of which she was a part of aired, she invited myself and two other guests to her garden to listen to the show. Needless to say I was more than a little nervous. It was my very first solo episode – of which I had secretly planned to sequester myself in my bedroom in order to critique it away from listening ears – and I knew I’d made a few noticeable gaffs!
Those who know me understand the affinity I have for shade gardens, and Julie’s mid town gardens are cast in wonderfully dappled shade, the perfect home for Hosta and Heuchera, which, as the above photo confirms, are planted in magnificent drifts!
Like other gardeners whose names I will not mention, Julie suffers from the malady known as see, lust, possess! Her vehicle automatically stops at all and every garden centre and nursery, and even if she isn’t overly impressed with the contents, she never comes away empty handed!
One of my personal favourite ‘rooms’ within her gardens is a shaded area, home to a pond with a narrow rill, surrounded by river rock. It is such a serene and peaceful spot. No wonder Julie considers it one of her favourites as well!
Julie recently joined me and two other garden friends on a trip to Lost Horizons, one of the province’s best woodland plant nurseries. Neither of us are strangers to this delightful mecca of the rare and unusual – we both find it next to impossible to leave without totally obliterating our foolishly preset budgets! [Indeed ‘Outlaw’ – budget is typically such an irrelevant concept when you’re talking about plant acquisition, but for me, its become somewhat of a necessity, especially where Lost Horizons is concerned!] I remember her laughing when I showed her my list! ‘I don’t have one!’ she stated with a slight air of one who knows better!
For those wondering, Julie is the one on the right, and yes, the trolley in front of her is ALL hers! ‘I don’t have a list!’ INDEED! Of course not having a list, and suffering from SLP, one can understand how her gardens look like this:
Kind thanks Julie for your friendship, loyalty to LittleTree, and for hauling my derriere around, especially when I’m struck with an insatiable desire to travel to Acton and more specifically Lost Horizons, and for allowing me to come and traverse your garden during my favourite time of day, the Gloaming. Few gardens offer such magic!
For an in depth photo presentation of Julie’s garden, cue to the footer section of this blog.