Friday, September 20, 2013

My friends garden in Okotoks Alberta.

On my trip to Alberta to visit my girls we also took part of a day to catch up with a very good friend.  We meet the first day of college. We were steadfast friends and study partners for the rest of the next two years despite the fact that I graduated from high school 30 years before and he had just graduated. But when your talking plants and design age really didn't make a difference. We both welcomed the friend we found in each other and will remain friends for ever Im sure. 

 The day was off to a promising start... Humor... Do you get it? I will give you a hint for those that didn't, the Die Hard movies... The irony of the fact that both of us had moved and our lives had completely changed was just punctuated by the movers across the street.
 We have talked on the phone and via facebook so we have kept up with each other about all the change,s but getting to see him in his first home was really special. Meeting that special person who has helped him become the confident young man he is. A bigger smile, shoulders back and walking taller. Seeing how together they have created a home that greets you even from the street welcoming and embracing you as a friend.
 No space is wasted in their yard. Even as you walk up the walkway there are vegetable growing along with the flowers. Plants tucked in where ever enough sunlight would reach them.
 Contrasting textures and foliage colours mingle and paint the landscape blending comfortably together.
 A mixture of plant material very familiar to me, as it turned out it was the original plants given to him years before from my garden.. I remember him driving away that day with the back of his pick up full. His father benefited from his creativity for years and plants had been salvaged from that garden as his father moved to another home at the same time as he moved to his new home.
A couple chairs nestled on the front porch to sit with passing neighbors in this friendly community.
They opened up the front yard enough to give an enticing peek yet still have some feeling of privacy tucked in behind the big spruce.

 Plants combined for now until they find their permanent homes. Some will be moved inside as they won't winter over in the harshness of the Alberta winters with their chinooks confusing plants.
 The ceders were planted to give additional height and privacy from neighbors windows. Notice the vegetables tucked in there! Very clever as well as artistically pleasing.
 Some of the planters had herbs in them which are used when they cook.
 Lots of pots with interesting combinations sitting everywhere. 
 They have only been in the house for a couple months and the back yard already has that feeling of settled in comfort.
 He even has a water feature. Look at the height of the Lobelia cardinalis. Its actually sitting in its pot in the water. 
 They've even built the deck around the existing tree and then placed pots around its base.
 A second barrel with different plants on the other side.
 Everywhere I looked there was something else catching my eye. Perennials, shrubs and annuals are mixed.
 A raised bed of vegetables divides the yard with a small mound of grass under a tree before going into the garage.
 Either side of the deck has plantings going in. This back yard is a real sanctuary in the city. With the double level deck and sitting areas their yards are extensions to their living area. They stretched the yard to seem bigger giving it three different levels of interests with pathways and pots that twist and divide the areas from the eyes seeing it all at once. All of this in only a couple months. Just wait till he has the time to finish it and the garden the time to grow into itself.
Dwarf trees are added for a vertical element along with the clematis growing up the painted fence.
We enjoyed cups of tea out on the deck discussing their plans and if felt like I had never left.
They have both promised to come to Michigan to visit and its my hope that while they are here I will be able to take them to the Chicago Botanical Gardens as well as all the others that are more local.
So here I am sharing my friends garden. Do you have friends that you enjoy sitting with discussing plants and design. Have you posted about them? I seem to take my camera every where I go these days. I hope you have enjoyed me sharing with you.

I"ve had a marvelous week in Real Estate.... I've checked off some major stressors in my life following the doctors orders.... Now for a "mental health day"... Im off to the Dahlia fields to let the soothing smile of colourful blooms lighten my mood and ground me.
Have a fabulous weekend... and remember...

Its never too late to be all that you were meant to be......

As always it is Fertilizer Friday over at Tootsie Time... So Im joining the party...
go on over and check out all the other great garden posts..You might just make your next best friend!