The property comprises almost one acre, and, working alongside a talented gardener and her team, I was able to save most of the existing shrubs and perennials on the site. We pruned the old Gravenstein apple tree out behind the house and took down the evergreen. Now the apple has room to breathe and makes a leafy canopy for our “outdoor room” back of the ell.
We took down the old chimney behind the evergreen and used its granite stones to build our favourite new feature of the garden – a “thyme bench”. Fashioned like a flowerbed and planted with the fragrant herb, it makes a perfect defining point for the driveway and a very comfortable place to sit.
In honour of old Mr. Ruggles, we planted a row of linden trees out back — the “lime trees” of Charlotte Perkins’ description. They will grow up to form a graceful backdrop to the house. We re-sodded the side yard and planted a potentilla hedge for colour and delineation alongside the driveway.
Out front, we built a dry stone retaining wall and granite steps at the edge of St. George Street to set the house off from the road and give it classic Georgian appeal.
New flowerbeds contain the peonies and weigela from Mrs. Munro’s garden, and showcase the huge old rhododendron that makes such a show of its blooms in the Spring.