Our Backyard

donna with laptop

I am a member of the Royal Horticultural Society as well as the Garden Writers Association and in 2003 hosted the GWA Region 7 program in Edmonton, Alberta. I am also an Affiliate Member Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors and Member North American Travel Journalists Association. In 2004 we launched our brand new www.gardeningtours.com website devoted entirely to the tours that we put together for each year.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of our old garden and that you become a regular visitor to the site and find a warm and inviting garden community thriving on the Internet!

In 2001 we added a new cedar fence ... what a job that was ... Tom took down all the old fence himself while I was in England, so it could be ready for the crew. This fence will never fall over ... it has 6 x 4 posts filled with 3 bags of concrete in each hole! I am very pleased with it, I didn't want anything fancy, just a private and high fence where I could let my plants grow on. I want my garden to be a place of peace and solitude. (If you want to see what the old fence looked like, just click on the picture showing the center urn in the springtime and also go down to the very bottom of this page and click on the picture showing snow in the back garden)

2003 was the year we decided to remove the old cedar deck and put in a slate patio...now that was some job! We did the whole thing ourselves and are very proud of the result. With having to remove so much soil for the gravel and sand bed, we found we had enough to put some more beds out front. I planted them with daylilies on the boulevard bed and with hostas on the bed close to the sidewalk. Everything in our garden was done by us, except of course the fence and all the wood has been left natural cedar, to weather on it's own. I think now the garden has its own microclimate because of the fence completely surrounding the garden...time will tell. We moved our roses closer to the house in their own bed. The fence closest to the driveway was also replaced at this time, so now the entire garden is a secret garden and can only be entered through a double gate from the drive. I also have three beautiful little lilac shrubs here in purple and white down the other side of the driveway and the bed is full of annuals during the spring, summer and fall.


a bit about me...

In 1995 I achieved my Master Gardener certificate through the University of Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden. The garden won first prize in Canadian Gardening magazine for Cold Climate Gardens (and was on the cover) and also won first prize in the EHS garden competition for two years in Ecoscaping and first prize in Perennials. I am a past director on the board of the Edmonton Horticultural Society. My area was Speakers and Programs and I was in charge of the EHS Garden Gala... under awards you will see some our awards received for the site and also a press release. In 1999 I was very fortunate to be a finalist for Alberta in the Canadian Women Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards in Start Up. in 2004 our site received the Applied Technology Award through the Chamber of Commerce here in St. Albert.

Through gardening and our garden, we have had the opportunity to host many open gardens and tours and welcome you if you should ever be in our area! Some of these photographs were taken by Marilynn McAra, who also took the photos for Canadian Gardening and numerous other publications...

Articles done by others on either ICanGarden.com or our garden have appeared in numerous garden magazines. I have contributed articles to magazines such as Homemaker's, Alberta Views, Gardener for the Prairies and Gardening Life as well as Familywave.com and IParenting. I have also had the opportunity to provide photographs that I have taken to European Homes & Gardens, BCAA and Doctor's Review. I am currently part of the HomeStyle Today Expert Q & A team at IParenting.com. I have spoken at various events including Canada Blooms, Art in Bloom and local garden clubs. In April 2005 our garden was featured in Gardens West Magazine and there also received a cover shot using our pond.

Through the site, we have had many opportunities to speak about gardening on the internet - my husband Tom, is the webmaster so we are very much in tune with gardening and with the internet! We began hosting garden tours in 1998 and we are able to speak on that as well with a presentation entitled Great Gardens of Europe and England that continues to be updated with all the trips and tours I take.

I am a member of the Royal Horticultural Society as well as the Garden Writers Association and in 2003 hosted the GWA Region 7 program in Edmonton, Alberta. I am also an Affiliate Member Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors and in 2204 we launched our brand new www.gardeningtours.com website devoted entirely to the tours that we put together for each year.

I hope you enjoy this tour of our garden and that you become a regular visitor to the site and find a warm and inviting garden community thriving on the Internet!

Donna...


2003 Spring

2002 Spring

2001 Update

 


 

2000 update

I was very pleased with the garden this year...minimal worries about the bad bugs, although I had my share of whitefly on the virginia creeper and aphids on the honeysuckle. The bed off the deck was completely emptied and filled with soil to make it higher, then I put back everything. That was a chore, but it gave me a chance to space the iris better for future blooming. We lost our beautiful Russian Olive this year - a wind split it and thankfully it fell on the very sturdy concrete urn you see in the picture, saving the rose and peony bed and the pond. The area looked very flat after loosing the tree so we put in a three piece lattice work screen and have 3 brand new clematis growing there...all New Eden introductions.

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There are some shots here of roses and lilies. I have a few David Austins that are hardy and doing very well here, plus all kinds of other roses and peonies...lots of peonies!

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There is a picture here of my Irish moss with two little birds that was a birthday present from my sister in law Jane, a happy face that was a present from my other sister in law Mardi. I have put the new little pond in surrounded by rocks from the beaches of Jordan River and Darlene our Koi fountain, was a house warming gift from our realtor (Darlene of course!)
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The larger pond did well this year - I have pictures here of the front and back of it with all the sungods I have collected on various trips. The last picture is of the new urn we brought back from Calgary. This is heavy and ships in three pieces! It is a reproduction of a 1910 iron urn and I am thrilled with it!


I have gotten rid of all of the terra cotta in favour of something that will withstand our winters. So far we have a new concrete birdbath and two other urns sitting on either side of the teak bench (from White Rock, BC)

Never did get the fence put in this year, but are gearing up for next spring.

I have tons of bulbs coming this fall, some more peonies, and the new Plum Poppy.

Some photos's of our yard, click on the image to see a full size picture

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I wanted to show you what some of my irises looked like this year...many were given to me by a good friend named Ginny! Thanks Ginny - they live on in my garden...
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Two new peonies that started blooming this year...the one with the yellow center is a tree peony and the other is a regular peony - the blooms on both were simply gorgeous!

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Tom took this of Liz and I in our backyard...
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One of my roses - each one that blooms is different...

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donna's backyard
This is our pond...before our bronze crane was installed.

donna's backyard
Another perennial closeup of Winnipeg Parks and Fishermans Friend roses, liatris, lupin, lilies, and monkshood.

donna's backyard
Closeup of iris, lamium, forget me not and some yellow flower that I don't particularly like! but it looks nice.

donna's backyard
Closeup of forget me not and driftwood..

donna's backyard
This is a picture at the top of the pond with siberian iris and bearded iris on either side..

plaque

backyard 2
Photo courtesy of Edmonton Horticultural Society

backyard
Photo courtesy of Edmonton Horticultural Society

backyard 3
Photo courtesy of Edmonton Horticultural Society

water pond

pond

water lily

water poppy

brick wall

mexican pottery

another pond pic

snowy backyard

donna's backyard
This is a wonderful new daylily addition to our garden. Hope Pam at Erikson's remembers the name!

Some of the great photos by:

Marilynn McAra

Edmonton photographer/writer
Phone/fax: (780) 423-0238
E-mail: mcara@shaw.ca
web-site: www.ab-photo.com

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