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Our Kootenays Garden of the Year 2008

 
 


City garden

Pictures taken in September, 2008

Nothing is more the child of art than a garden  -  Sir Walter Scott

Featuring a city garden in Warfield, a small community situated between Trail and Rossland, in the West Kootenay, BC, Canada.

 


    The garden belongs to Dorothy Beetstra, former public health nurse, now retired. Dorothy's love of nature and outdoors found its outlet in creating a beautiful  little paradise of her own. With hundreds of different varieties of plants and flowers her garden is full of colour, scent and movement since early spring to the end of October.

    When Dorothy was younger she loved to hike and go out to meet nature. Now, when because of a serious ankle injury she can't hike anymore, she can admire the beauty of nature at her own place, enjoy flowers and watch birds, butterflies, bees and other insects in her own backyard.

      Dorothy is a true artist and her garden is the expression of her art. She paints with  flowers on the canvas of soil. It is a very difficult art because her medium, plants and flowers, constantly change and vanish to be replaced with new ones.  I have tried to capture her art on pictures, some of which you can see on this page.

    When looking at Dorothy and her garden it is very difficult to believe that she is 83 years old. She is 38 years young!

September in Dorothy's garden

 
    A beautiful combination of white flowering Japanese Anemones, yellow Rudbeckia  fulgida, mauve Erigeron (Fleabane) and deep-burgundy Lychnis coronaria.    Pale-pink flowers of Echinacea purpurea,  Hybrid Tea Roses  - orange 'Tropicana' and pink 'Granada', white Osteospermums (African Daisies), yellow Rudbeckias and Corydalis, fuchsia Petunias ... surround a bird bath.     Delicate, picturesque flowers of Japanese Anemone or Windflower  (from the Greek "anemos" meaning "the wind") variety 'Pamina' move even in the slightest breeze.     Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and Dahlias on the background of yellow-orange flowers of Helenium autumnale and fluffy seed pods of Clematis tangutica.
 

    Here is what Dorothy says about her relationship with her garden:

    My garden has become a refuge that has been, since my husband died, very therapeutic. I feel grounded and gain my sense of balance. I love the colours, the textures and the personalities of the plants I grow. This of course starts in the spring when the crocus and other small bulbs push thru and say "hello, we're back", the tulips follow and of course the hellebore shows off its pinky blossoms. From this starts a parade of of flowering shrubs and of course the Iris which are my favourite flower. There is so much colour there and they have wonderful names. Roses, peonies, poppies start showing up and then the perennials vie for attention, and before you know it the garden is full of blossoms backed by the foliage of hosta and shrubs too numerous to mention. Fall brings out the mums, asters and late blooming perennials. The bright orange berries of the pyracanthus are part of the late show. Every season brings its own style of beauty.

    Dorothy's garden is a combination of shrubs, perennials and annuals chosen for their colour, shape, texture and fragrance. There is much to see throughout the season. Every month brings its own palette of colours and forms.
    She loves her garden and loves to show it to her visitors.

    Here is Dorothy pointing to the beautiful Japanese Blood Grass "Red Baron" growing among Geraniums, Pinks and Impatiens in all shades of pink, yellow Calendulas and mauve Hydrangeas at the back of her garden.  A little baby angel relaxing there contemplates the beauty of the surroundings. 

    The garden is generally "O" shaped and surrounds the house, built in the centre of 100 x 60 ft. lot, on all four sides.
    The front part, on three pictures below, consists of  retaining walls and berms on both sides of steps leading to the yard from the street, filled with plants. A large Spruce tree growing in the E corner gives protection from sunshine to shade loving Ligularia dentata 'Othello', several varieties of Hosta, Japanese Painted Fern, Autumn Fern and more. Annuals in pots and containers supply splashes of colour and create interesting accent points on the background of leafy perennials and shrubs.
    Besides being a gardener Dorothy is a birder as well. In winter the Spruce tree provides shelter for the birds and their feeders.

What's in bloom?
Coral Geraniums and yellow Heliopsis.
White Japanese Anenomes, purple Chelone (Turtlehead), yellow Coreopsis verticillata. Pink and white Begonias in containers and Impatiens along the border.
 

    Narrow passages on the W and E sides of the house (on three pictures below) leading from the front part of the garden to the back are filled with plants and flowers as well. There is a Rose garden at the end of the W passage. Dorothy's collection of Roses consists of 23  different varieties. Her favourites are yellow-pink climber 'Joseph's Coat' and 15 years old, low growing 'Garden Fashion'. It never ceases to amaze me with its large heavily petalled blossoms. The petals are edged with a delicate pink in contrast to the creamy white centers - she describes her favourite.

The West passage

    A beautiful Heliopsis helianthoides.     A colorful mix of pink Asarina 'Niagara Falls', white and pink Begonias, yellow Corydalis and Coleus.     Roses, Harmony - pale coral and Fragrant Memory - red.
    The E passage is wider and ends with a charming room (the picture on the right). Stones used to build steps, paths and a screen between Dorothy's garden and her neighbours property provide interesting background for a combination of flower beds and plants in containers. It is amazing how many flowers bloom there still in September. Yellow Rudbeckia, orange-yellow Helenium autumnale much loved by bees, crimson Hybrid Tea Rose 'Remeber Me', deep-pink Petunias, mauve African Daisies (Osteospermums) ...

 

    From that room a narrow border leads to the back of the garden. That part used to be Dorothy husband's vegetable garden. It has been transformed by her into an ornamental garden after he died four years ago. There one can see, among other plants, a rich burgundy foliage of Diabolo ninebark, Nishiki WIllow with delicate, variegated, pink-white-light-green leaves, covering itself early in the summer with a profusion of yellow rosette type flowers Kerria, much lowed by bees and butterflies Caryopteris (Butterfly Bush) 'Blue Mist', Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea) and Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) 'Cherokee Chief', a small tree with gorgeous pink blossoms in May. Still more shrubs and numerous perennials and annuals fill up the small area. Dorothy also has her Iris garden with a collection of 50 Iris varieties there. The shrubs get a good pruning at times to stay small enough to fit in - she admits.

    On the picture on the left you see a beautiful specimen of Japanese Barberry variety Rose Glow (Berberis thunbergii var. atropurpurea), blue Echinops (Globe Thistle) and pink Petunias growing in the border leading to the back of the garden.

    On the picture on the right there is Dorothy again pointing to the beautiful, delicate plant of Campanula 'Star of Bethlehem' growing in the newest part of her garden.

    She knows the common and scientific names, together with the names of varieties, of all plants growing in her garden. And there are a lot of them!

    Dorothy takes care of her garden all by herself. It looks like healthy, outdoor physical activity in the garden is great for her health and the sense of overall wellbeing.

    My garden is always a work in progress. I always  have something to do and and it's a labour of love - she says.

    Dorothy is also an organizer of annual garden tours in Warfield. Thanks to her effort more and more people in Warfield and the surrounding area started growing and improving their gardens, contributing this way to the improvement of the local environment and the quality of life in the area. Taking part in the show creates a sense of civic pride in the gardeners.

    Belonging to the gardening community has been a source of much pleasure. I have met the most wonderful, knowledgeable people, generous too, always willing to exchange information and ideas - she says.


Some of our finest gardens Garden 2008 Garden 2007 Garden 2006 Heirloom Garden Old Fashioned Garden Artist's Garden
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