Mary Sadeghi under her pear trees.
This past weekend, my husband and I went on a garden tour with a bit of a twist. The first distinction was the timing; unlike most garden tours, which take place in June, this one was at the end of July.
The second and more perhaps more significant twist was the fact that this was an "Edible Gardens and Learning Tour".
Above: Shirley Jeffers and roses growing on her backyard fence. Shirley's vegetable patch.
Organized by the Richmond Hill Horticultural Society, there were 8 gardens on the tour each featuring a wide range of edible foods and methods for growing them.
I must say, that you would be hard pressed to find a more enthusiastic bunch of gardeners! Everyone was out front and center in their gardens greeting visitors, volunteering information on the food they grow and the environmentally friendly practices they follow.
In sharp contrast to the high-end garden tour that I took about month ago, these gardens were nothing fancy. In fact, I distinctly remember stepping around a clothesline on my way into one of the backyards. There was no self-concious landscape design here! These were just plain, honest-to-goodness gardens.
Joe Celebre's blackberries
This is not to say that there were not moments of pure beauty.
Even everyday, ordinary of things caught my eye as having a beauty all of there own.
The tomatoes in Joe Celebre's greenhouse.
There were even curiosities, like this intriguing method for getting water
right to a plant's root system.
The arbor leading into Mary's Sadeghi's garden.
The pathway through Mary's garden.
Mixing fruits, vegetables and flowers is not a new concept, but seeing the idea embraced so fully was an inspiration for me.
I honestly don't know why it hasn't accrued to me to mix things up a bit more.
Tomatoes, grapes growing steps away from roses, I mean, why not?
Linda Lynott's garden.
At least one gardener had gone so far as to plant her edibles right into the flowerbeds. And again, why not?
Vegetables often benefit from the society of flowers.
The tomatoes in the Platt's garden.
Even most novice gardeners know that marigolds are a tomato plant's best friend.
Mary Sadeghi 's seating area under the pear trees.
A few other things on the tour impressed me as well, one of them being how much these gardeners had packed into relatively small spaces.
Instead of having just a seating area, Mary Hassan made the space multifunctional by incorporating pear trees as shade cover (see above).
Plantings were layered, fruit growing up and flowers growing out underneath them.
Joe Celebre's figs
Another thing that surprised me was the wide range of edibles. Figs are not hardy here in Canada, but Joe Celebre had a number of fig trees in his garden. Every winter he digs a long trench in his greenhouse and buries them underground well out of the reach of killing frosts.
The kiwi vine growing in the Platt's backyard garden.
Barb and Bob Platt were growing kiwi. In Canada! Apparently, this new variety of kiwi vine which they acquired from a grower in the Niagara Region, is hardy here in Southern Ontario(zone 5-6). The kiwi is smaller than the standard fruit and lacks the beige, furry exterior, but has the same strawberry-like taste as ordinary kiwi. You just pop them into your mouth and eat them like a berry.
Hope you had a nice weekend too! I'll put a few more highlights up in a second post.