Sunday, June 5, 2011

Heaven on Earth

Wanting to find some 'fresh' inspiration...we set off to visit Faye's garden, just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia. "Heaven on Earth"... the frame reflects the gardener and her artistic skill at succulent wreath making. Further, the garden reflected Faye herself...peaceful, delightful, interesting and generous. Winding our way through the bloom filled front yard, just past her vegetable garden, I was delighted to find, a small permanent apiary .... it being one of our first full sunshiny days, the honey bees were out in force. What a great sound............

The quiet walk, erupting in occasional squeals of "look at this", prompted us to slow down; plants said..."look at me, down here..yes come closer...aren't I beautiful!"

Primula 'Francesca'
Near the front of our property, there are alders and birch with a few evergreens which hide all sorts of lovely Nova Scotia  naturalized plants and I do refer to it as my woodland garden but it is not cultivated very much. I have thought about tucking in more plants, but would have to make pockets of rich forest soil first; ours is very thin. I liked how Faye did that...building on the natural slope of the land, the rocky outcrops and dips, laying stones and filling in behind with compost ( from their compost facility..sadly no photo to share but please let me tell you...serious composters) to give plants the opportunity to grow and thrive. She and hubby Yvon, have gardened for twenty eight years on this spot, and it shows....a truly developed garden, evolving as seasons pass, finding it's own place and pace. The view below, stole my heart away.

Click on Photos to Enlarge
Mystery, inviting exploration, delivering that most sacred of all, peace and tranquility. The many varieties of dogwood and magnolia as well as hosta and fern, provide canopy and structure;  gentle paths  and steps slow body and mind.  It's still with me, that inner peace ...that "Heaven on Earth".

Thanks Faye for your generosity. It was truly, a pleasure to walk with you discovering and learning how a Nova Scotia woodland could be developed to it's full potential. You gave me just what I needed...Inspiration!


  1. I'd so like an apiary. I have no idea how to look after bees and suspect it would be quite time consuming, but the idea appeals. Jane, however, thinks otherwise! `Mmmmmm....

    My grandfather was blind but he used to handle bees, picking them up from the flowers in his garden. he grew foxgloves especially to attract them

  2. Wow, Faye's gardens are so beautiful! Looks and sounds like you had a really nice visit. I especially like the last picture .... I just know that there are lots of gnomes and fairies living in the beautiful woodland garden! Did you get to see any of them??? Thanks so much for sharing you visit!

  3. I know that lovely garden and that wonderful gardener. Her garden is truly a special place. You are so lucky to have discovered it,Brenda.


  4. I feel that same inspiration when visiting your garden! oxo J

  5. My Mom certainly has an eye for the land. I grew up as my son did watching her cultivate her hidden talent. We are very proud of her and our very own Heaven on Earth. And yes Kensho there are fairies and gnomes in there I've seen them!
    ~Love you Mom,

  6. Lovely photos Bren! Faye's garden is an incredible place - peaceful, serene and always something new to discover as you wander along the next curve in the pathway. The birds and the bees provide the soundtrack, along with the trickle of water.. thanks for sharing these!

  7. Looks like a wonderful day was had. Seeing other people's gardens really is inspiring isn't it? So many ideas and ways of doing things. I love that about gardening, there's no right way. Her succulent wreath is lovely.

  8. Hi Bren, Faye's garden is just beautiful. Compliments to the gardener. A garden with a woodland feel is my very favourite because it most often plays up texture. The succulent wreath is wonderful too. I'd love to try my hand at making one.
    P.S. You were asking about my geraniums. I have two kinds of burgundy geraniums. I have a dark burgundy one with burgundy accents on the leaves. I believe this to be Geranium phaeum 'Samobor'. The other one which looks pretty identical, but has plain green leaves I believe is Geranium phaeum ' Chocolate chip'. ( I am slightly less certain of the second one.)