In all these many decades we have had gardens large and small every year in every house we lived in. Some of our Summer gardens where on a large balcony or terrace, I remember our first apartment together in Ottawa we had Tiki bamboo torch lights and wicker baskets from Roger Horchow. Incidentally he died last week, aged 90. This at a time when it was still not that popular in most gardens to have such items.
Our first house South of Ottawa, I went and dug up some Hollyhocks one night from a house slated for demolition, they had the most beautiful flowers simply abandoned, so I thought I could save them and give them to Will for replanting in our yard.
Our first house had a yard which was in need of urgent care with a tree which turned out to be a White Persian Lilac, we built a red cedar deck and Will planted the flower beds and built a small water piece with Japanese lantern. We had twigs of Virginia creeper which would turn bright red in the Fall, we simply buried them and they took off covering a whole wall. We had Nasturtiums, Tobacotiana, Bee Balm, Solomon Seal, and President Kekkonen roses.
In Mexico, we had lots of plants which we bought with large terra cotta planters in Xochimilco. Cut flowers I remember could be bought anywhere for very little money and you could always have fresh flowers in the house or bring large bouquets to a dinner party.
In Poland we lived in a very large 3 storey house in Saska Kempa, across the Vistula River from central Warsaw. The garden was very large and we had house plants and two gardeners who took care of the ornamental bushes and trees, including cutting the lawn.
In Rome we lived in a medium size condo building which was surrounded by many large mature trees and the architect had obviously designed the approaches to the building with terraced levels of plants and fruit trees, I remember the lemon trees and how strong smelling and tasting the fruit was. We also had a terrace and we had succulent plants, flowers and could change according to Season what we had on our terrace. So at Christmas we had several Poinsettia of various reds and white leaves plus a small pine tree in a large planter.
Back in Canada we had a 160 year old house which had a beautiful garden with masses of ferns, ornamental trees and flowers. The previous owner’s father was a gardener and worked at the Official Residences in the Capital, any plant leftover found its way into the garden of the house. We hired a company to help with cleaning both in the Spring and Fall, they could do all the necessary work in 2 days whereas we would have required a week to do the same.
Now in Charlottetown, the house is surrounded by plants and shrubs and on our balcony we have flowers in boxes. This year because of the pandemic, the garden centre I go to in York, did not have the same variety, what was on offer was cut in half. I still found everything I wanted and got some beautiful begonias in the large variety, also Night Sky petunias and New Guinea Impatiens.
Our garden is ready for the Summer, now if only the weather can get warmer in the 20C range that would be nice.