Contributed by Kathy Flaxman
The Bluebells are ringing, and the Hyacinths are definitely in bloom. In the air there’s a scent of Lilac – yes garden time is here!
Cabbagetown homes boast a variety of styles of design and architecture and likewise, many proud dwellers have created oases of colour, greenery and scents. Some are highly manicured and carefully planned, with borders of bright impatiens and pansies interspersed with alyssum and lobelia. These annuals, added every year, give a splash of colour supplementing the ongoing beauty of lily of the valley and calla lilies, irises and peonies that blossom (hopefully) again and again, year after year.
“Gardening is very popular in Cabbagetown,” notes Joe Rozman of Weenen General Contracting Limited. “Many spaces are stunning. Greenery and flowers add a softness and help create outdoor living areas that are very beautiful as well as functional,” he says.
This year, visitors and residents of Cabbagetown are being treated to the Garden Tour on June 3rd, where they will have the opportunity to feast their eyes on a number of extraordinarily beautiful gardens ranging from those throbbing with colour to others created and cared for with a different focus.
Jannette Porter and her spouse Jim Girling have established a natural, urban space that features a pond and many indigenous plants and flowers. “The yard is wildlife friendly, with water, shelter, and food,” she says. “We are aiming for biodiversity and planting native plants as much as possible. Our rainwater goes into the rain barrel and into the pond. We do our own composting and don’t cut all our dead branches, because we want both the look and feel of a natural area, like Muskoka,” Jannette explained.
Tall white birches, white pine, fir, larch, other trees and shrubs are among the plants. The house, built in the early 1870s, once had a dairy at the back: the old drain for the dairy is ingeniously employed as the overflow for the current pond. Incidentally, the home’s addition, built in the 1980’s is the work of Weenen General Contracting, built for a previous owner. “A look at the list of homes on the Garden Tour is also a bit of snapshot of our work too,” Joe points out “Over the years we have worked on many of the homes. It’s a vibrant neighbourhood and we’re privileged to be part of it.”