The area around the old coach road to Kingston, our own Kingston Road, is the focus of this year’s Beach Garden Society Tour. That means it’s walkable, has nearby food of all kinds and covers four by four blocks of flat, level ground.
“The tour is on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 17,” says organizer Barbara Phillips, “so the kids can treat mom and dad to the event and dinner afterwards.” Author and Toronto Star gardening columnist Sonia Day will also be signing and selling her latest book, The Untamed Garden, in one of the gardens.
Every one of the 13 gardens has ideas you can use: containers; small-space gardens; a hand-moulded garden/patio edging; coping with a giant tree trunk and using a dog run to protect the plantings.
Take the plant-lover’s garden on Linton. The front is packed with plants, including a shrubby ‘Forest Pansy’ redbud that grew from a damaged stump. In back, a woodsy path under a climbing hydrangea and thick pine leads to plantings that mix perennials, ornamental grasses and flowering shrubs, One “wonky smokebush” sprouts up in several places, and the oakleaf hydrangea may be in bloom, along with the ‘Summer Snowflake’ viburnum. At the far end of the grassy path, look for the shade garden of hostas (at least two dozen varieties) and ferns.
Then there’s the 70-some-year-old garden on Kingswood, whose owner carries on her father’s gardening tradition. Out front, “the lawn went piece by piece until it’s all gone,” she laughs. Lamb’s ears, mini-roses, pelargoniums (from her cousin, 20 years ago) and other beauties fill the small plot. Behind the house, a dainty azalea is tucked next to a massive hosta, and shade-loving coleus and lady ferns mix colour and texture. Clematis vines catch some sun on a garage wall, and even roses manage few a cherished flowers.
A long block south, across Kingston, you’ll find a low-maintenance native plant garden terraced above street level in front. The back garden features a dramatic sunken patio, called “Mom’s Midnight Garden” in honour of the owner’s mother. Steps away, a raised deck overlooks a calming pool. Woven throughout the space are azaleas, rhododendrons, hostas, many different Japanese maples and more. “I wanted flow, surprise details, lots of seating options, texture and colour, with a somewhat woodland, rustic feel,” says the owner, who designed it all herself.
Need to know
Tour date – Sunday, June 17, 1 to 5 p.m.
Tickets – $10 covers entry to all gardens. Available at:
East End Garden Centre, 1395 Queen St. E.
Beachwood Flower Shop, 1916 Queen St. E.
Pippin’s Tea Company, 2098 Queen St. E.
East of Eliza, 1960 Gerrard St. E.
Cool Green & Shady, 601 Kingston Rd., unit 105
Trinity Gallery, 926 Kingston Rd.
The Greenery Patch, 149 Main St.