The gardens of Government House always look spectacular – even with the occasional snowfall.
The massive viburnum hedge to the east of the Victorian Rose Garden has been a topic of conversation at the Garden Management Committee for some time. It was overgrown, diseased and rife with blackberry canes and other undesirables. Originally a shelter for the rose garden, it now blocked the view and the sunshine from the east.
This spring both the will and the funds were present and Bartlett Tree Experts were hired to cut it down and remove the extensive root system.
The area has been seeded with grass to provide better viewing access to both the Victorian Rose and Winter Gardens.
The early spring this year gave us the opportunity to perform some major renovations in the gardens at the very beginning of the gardening season. Change is always interesting so the Friends website will try to capture the before, the during and the after in a series of blog posts called Transitions.
On the southern edge of the Duck Pond between Rockland 1 and Pearkes Peak there were a couple of beds overgrown with hypericum, cottoneaster and a kolkwitzia. Besides being out of control and impinging on the path, they blocked the western view of the pond and the bamboo grove. A local family wished to donate a crab apple tree and this became the impetus to renovate the area.
The roots were mighty, but the team of Pearkes Peak gardeners were mightier and here is the result.
A couple of diminutive new residents were discovered this month in a Portuguese laurel in Pearkes Peak by the sharp eyes of Sharon Vermaning, Supervisor of that garden. The hummingbird nest measures about one and a half inches around (these condos are getting smaller all the time) and is populated by two tiny chicks whose long beaks can be seen poking out in the picture below.
A new edition of the Cary Bulletin has been published today in advance of the start of the new gardening season. You’ll notice a few changes. As most of the Friends are now receiving the Bulletin electronically the new edition contains more colour, more pictures and should read very well on your computer or tablet screens. For those of you who prefer the print edition, fear not, it has been sent to our printer and will be mailed to you, as usual, very shortly.
Another change is that, from this edition forward, we are putting the electronic version of the Cary Bulletin in the public section of the website. A few changes were made for privacy protection to allow this. This will make the Bulletin easier to download and easier to pass along the link to friends and colleagues across Canada and around the world. Feel free to share it liberally.
You can find the Bulletin on a new page below the “The Friends” menu item or just click here.
Enjoy – and spread the word.
To honour Orm and Queenie, who was a dedicated member of the Pool Garden team, their family made a bequest to the Friends that was used to revitalize a section of Pearkes Peak, a shaded section beside the main path leading from the House to the Bruce Pavilion. The family members, pictured above, were given a tour and detailed explanation of the improvements made to the garden with the bequest by the Friends Head Gardener, Valerie Murray.
Commenting afterwards, Roberta Benson wrote, “I loved the garden and it felt just right as a living memorial of our love for Queenie and Orm for us and others to enjoy.”
The Rockland Border gardens contain a number of unusual plants. The photograph on the left shows: top left, Paraserianthes lophantha (Crested Wattle), native to Australia; top center, Tetrapanex papyrifer (Rice Paper plant) native to Taiwan; and top right with purple flowers, Solanum. Planted below are ligularia, restio, Euphorbia griffithii, fuchsia and dahlia. The photograph on the right shows Abutilon ‘Tiger Eye’. A tender perennial, Abutilon is a genus of many broadleaf flowering evergreen trees and shrubs, commonly called Flowering Maples.