An English-Style Garden in Toronto

An English-Style Garden in Toronto

Today we’re heading to Toronto to see the garden of Lucile Yates.

About seven years ago, I got rid of most of the lawn in the front garden and planted low-growing, drought-tolerant plants in the front 20 feet. I left the original bed of taller perennials behind them and planted a shade garden of hostas and hydrangeas under the tree. In the spring there are hundreds of bulbs of all kinds. I especially like species tulips, as they are deer resistant. One of the focal points in the spring is the redbud tree (Cercis canadensis, Zones 5–9).

The back garden has several perennial beds, with one devoted mostly to peonies and another to irises.

My garden backs onto Lake Ontario on the Scarborough Bluffs, so there is a microclimate that is slightly more moderate than in many parts of Toronto.

I’ve been gardening for more than 25 years. I try to grow lots of plants that attract pollinators. I love the traditional English cottage garden plants, and I like to try unusual plants as well. The tall part of the front garden has a magnificent meadow rue that grows 10 feet tall and has a mist of small lavender flowers. It’s called lavender mist (Thalictrum rochebruneanum, Zones 4–7), of course.

In 2018 some kind person who admired the garden nominated the front garden for the Toronto gardens awards. It took first place in the Environmental garden category.

An English-style perennial planting around the lawn. I’d love to sit back in those lounge chairs and enjoy the view.

redbud treeA large redbud tree is a high point of the spring garden display, backed up by numerous spring bulbs.

Bright color on the walkway to the front yard, focused on yellow and blue.

lavender mist meadow rueA naturalistic mixture of perennials, with lavender mist meadow rue living up to its name.

California poppiesBright California poppies (Eschscholzia californica, annual) are living sunshine.

GroundcoversGround covers making a beautiful carpet.

purple coneflowerNative perennials such as purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 4–9) ensure that pollinators have lots of food.

Densely planted beds with lots of color and interest from both foliage and flowers.


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