by Catherine Johnson

The Kemptville Horticultural Society is pleased to invite you to attend our 2017 edition of the Bud to Bloom Garden Tour to be held on Saturday June 24, 2017 from 10 am to 4 pm. This year we are including eight private gardens on the tour as well as an afternoon tea to be held at the Burritts Rapids Community Hall from 1-3 pm, as well as a stop at the beautiful gardens of Rideau Woodland Ramble. Tickets are $15 per person and are available for purchase at Brewed Awakenings or Home and Beyond, both on CR 43 in Kemptville, or by calling Doreen Hill at (613) 215-0232.

One of the private gardens included on the tour is at the home of Deborah and John Dickson. The Dickson home and garden is situated on a well-treed one-acre lot in Settlers Grant. Although they have owned the house for 16 years, and have gardened over the years, Deborah has undertaken to seriously revamp the garden over the past six years.

To start with, the gardens consisted only of gardens visible from the road, on the front lawn and veranda, and in the tree well on the side of the driveway. The gardens have since made their way to the back and sides of the house, as well as around a detached garage built two years ago. This garden has wonderful examples of both soft and hard landscape ideas.

The house originally had an above-ground pool when Deborah and John purchased the house. With the pool being unused, they decided to use the pool’s footprint to build an impressive circular stone patio. The patio entrance is flanked by massive pots of annuals.

Deborah has designed, developed and maintained the garden herself, and has hired extra manpower (or womanpower) throughout the summer to help with some of the heavier work. Deborah’s main design strives for continuity throughout the garden, as well as to keep it as low maintenance as possible. As you look around the garden you will see that it has definitely been designed. She strategically uses ground covers in difficult areas to keep the weeds at bay. The Dicksons have had large stone walls built at both ends of the house to keep elevations as level as possible. The stone walls are impressive works of art in themselves.

The gardens themselves are mostly shade gardens, with some sun-loving plants in the front of the house. The gardens include beautiful weigela in bloom at the moment, and peonies ready to burst open at any time, as well as many other perennials ready for you to come and enjoy. Please pick up your tickets today and come out and enjoy this and the other, equally impressive, private gardens on the tour.

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