YORKTON - First, gardeners, a couple of announcements. The Yorkton Gardeners’ Market is now in full swing, Saturdays from 9AM till noon, corner of Melrose and Simpson. For more information about the market call Glen at (306)783-7040.
The Yorkton and District Horticultural Society will be holding their Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Show on Wednesday, August 10 at the Parkland Mall, Yorkton. Yes, it’s a new venue and a new approach to the show, but we hope that you’ll come out to visit the show and bring a friend! More details will follow.
The last few weeks have been a true challenge for gardeners. Since many of us have gardens that are in “recovery” mode, sort of, let’s sit down for a few minutes with a cup of tea and we’ll chat about changing looks in gardening.
On a recent trip to Winnipeg, we enjoyed a scenic tour to view landscaping in a few residential neighbourhoods. Two areas that we visited were Tuxedo and the newer South Tuxedo. Not only was it interesting to see the homes of the ultra-rich, but very interesting to see how their front yards were landscaped. And after a while, some gardening patterns began to emerge.
First was the use of grasses and smaller shrubs. One home that was especially lovely had a broad bed of plants along the front of the house: the planting consisted of golden spirea; green-leaved spirea with raspberry-coloured blooms, and a stunning row of a tall grass (perhaps Karl Foerster) as the backdrop. The shrubs were planted quite close together to form drifts of colour, and the tallest shrubs were no more than three feet high. It was the kind of yard that made you slow-down to take a better look, and it was beautiful.
Another stunning feature was the use of very large containers, filled with a showy display of large plants like canna lilies in bright colors, fountain grasses, and even some small cedars or shrubs. One front yard that I especially liked had a wide “creek-bed” ribbon hugging the driveway at the edge of the lawn and curling up to the front of the house. This area was completely of large rocks, (football-sized and larger), mostly dark grey, with some fridge-sized rocks placed here and there. The three large planters placed among the rocks were in an eye-catching red, and planted with yellow, orange and red cannas. What a firecracker look! And the planters were easily the size of a stove. Just breathtaking.
One perennial that took centre-stage in a few yards was clumps of daylilies, but planted in a controlled and manicured way, bringing out the best of the foliage and the blooms. These weren’t just growing wildly to fill an empty space; they were beautifully planted as part of a landscape design, spaced to show off their beauty, and they looked great.
One thing we noticed because of its absence: flowering perennial borders. Have gardening tastes changed to favour other things? We saw only one such flowering border on our drive, and after seeing the elegant plantings in other yards, it was strange to note how unkempt the border looked. And maybe that’s the reason why some gardeners shy away from them. They take time to achieve “the look” we always hope for, and they take a lot of work to keep them looking nice and groomed.
There are always new ideas out there! Fascinating!
Thank you to our friends at YTW for their great work. Visit the hort society at www.yorktonhort.ca and have a great week.