A Secluded Shade Garden in Toronto

Here’s another garden we got to visit in the Forest Hill section of Toronto. Again, remember that this is early June.

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This one was shady, with an emphasis on hardscape and garden art. A bit austere by my standards, but still with many elements I found appealing.

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I’m not sure how I feel about the fencing that kept this garden so secluded. It seems a little too somber. I like this seating area, though.

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I really love this border of bushy grasses with tall Alliums standing to the rear. I wonder what kind of grass this is, and what it will look like later in the summer. Or is it a sedge?

Brick paths in a herringbone pattern really appeal to me as well.

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I wonder if any birds actually use this birdhouse. I like how the Virginia Creeper is creeping all around, but I suspect it makes this home rather insecure from the birds’ point of view.

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The birdhouse is like a lookout over this lush and leafy corner. If I sat in that chair I think my head would be hidden in the Japanese Maple. That vine with the chartreuse leaves next to the Virginia Creeper is very striking.

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This is interesting.

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I think that middle lawn is a mix of fescues and sedges, and that is Japanese Forest Grass along the fence.

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Mosses growing between stepping stones are so appealing. So green and soft.

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Here’s a different sort of water feature. The wooden frames are to keep critters out, I believe.

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Here’s a picture of the house.

What kind of gardens do you like best, sunny or shady? Open or enclosed?

43 Comments on “A Secluded Shade Garden in Toronto

  1. I’m not sure about this one, it seems to me that the owner just doesn’t like the act of gardening as it must stay almost the same all year.

  2. It looked a bit too shady to me, but I guess that is nice for summer. I liked the bushy grasses and alliums, I’d love that in our garden.

  3. I liked mosses between steps, Jason. Alliums grow in my garden as well and I love these white ones on the last photo.

  4. There are elements to really enjoy about this garden – the grass/allium border (what was planted at the base of the alliums? There’s a peek of something else there) and the moss in paving, etc. The house looks pretty interesting too. Sunny or shady, open or enclosed, all can be lovely if planted well.

  5. I love shade gardens. Too much sun gives me an allergic reaction so I like shade. I rather like a bit more excitement in my shade garden. This one is a bit too formal looking although I like several of their plantings. Such as that Japanese forest grass that looks so healthy. That is one grass I can’t grow. It sits in my garden until it dwindles away. `I guess I always want what I can’t have in the garden. ha… As to enclosed gardens I have grown to love them too. When I first left country living I resented fences and shortened views. I have grown to appreciate fencing and the privacy it gives the garden. I have had several people over the years say they couldn’t believe the feeling of being in a park in my garden and the private feel. This always makes me happy to hear. I live by a busy road.

  6. Always interesting to see another shade garden as mine is particularly so. I suspect like most gardeners do, although I love my conditions and the plants I can grow, I sometimes yearn for the opposite when I have just seen a display in full sun.

    • I’ve got some sun and some shade, which is nice. Still not satisfied, though – I’d really like more space, maybe some woodland and a pond.

  7. I love that acer above the chair. All the greenery makes it look lush and cool and welcoming, but it certainly would be interesting to see this garden in autumn or winter.

  8. There are some interesting features in this garden. The fencing is a bit too harsh for my taste. I wonder if more vertical planting in front would soften it up a bit.
    My, you saw so many gardens during your fling in Toronto!

  9. Love that first picture, it is amazing what one can do with shade gardens isn’t it? Although austere looking, I think it also has a sort of zen look which makes it so peaceful and not overcrowded and overflowing with all kinds of flora. I do love the interlocking herringbone brick pattern too. I’ll really have to seek this place out when we next visit Toronto. Like I said, we lived there for several years, the summers are just gorgeous, but winter leaves a lot to be desired.

  10. I did love creating a shade garden at the old house…it was mostly shade except one small patch….it is a challenge and I admire anyone who can create such a stunning shade garden.

  11. A beautiful garden and very serene. It’s not my style of garden, but I always enjoy seeing different styles like this and especially the creative touches. I would love to have a brick path like that, however. Good to see a couple of familiar faces in the photos!

  12. Hi, Jason. The “lawn” was a mixture of Eco-Lawn (so lots of fescues, as you guessed) and Pennsylvania sedge. I’ve always assumed that the grass around the alliums is Calamagrostis or feather reed grass in its pre-flowering leafy stage — which would make quite a different picture later in the season. However, I have head someone else suggest it was sedge. The plant placed amongst the alliums was purple kale; a cool combo. Thanks for your post. It’s always interesting to read about how people enjoyed the different gardens.

  13. Oh yes, I remember this garden. The patch of Alliums was sort of a symbol or theme of the Fling. They were stunning in that dappled sun/shade area. I found the garden stunning–not necessarily my personal style, but very welcoming and down-to-earth and at the same time, elegant and classy.

  14. This was a beautiful garden with many nice appointments. The way the fall into winter weather is progressing, we may be seeing those Alliums in no time. I was surprised to get home and still see annuals going strong. In Europe, many plants were still in bloom.

  15. It’s great to see how each garden is so different with individual personalities stamped on them This garden certainly has some very interesting features and artwork. The grasses and alliums do sit beautifully together. I think the birds would be a little nervous using that birdhouse too and I was smiling at the thought of your head being in the maple.xxx

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