The OMG Summer Tour, Part 2: Hot colour in the country

As the day grew hotter, so did the colours in the next couple of gardens we visited on our Toronto Botanical Gardens tour led by Frank Kershaw. Now we were pushing into Southern Ontario’s horse country, a verdant quilt of velvety green fields plumped on rolling hills fringed with forest. As much as the last garden we saw was a masterful lesson in making the most of a small space, now we were seeing what can be done with much larger gardens framed by breathtaking countryside. Placement of trees and flower beds was much more about taking advantage of the views. (Click on any photo to get more details.)

This hillside garden surrounded by fields and forest featured rambling paths that led from the house to informal flower beds, a pond and a collection of evergreens.

A trickling waterfall linked the house to the pond at the foot of the hill.

Trees, shrubs and perennials look all the more dramatic for having a dense forest as a backdrop to throw them into bright relief.

And everywhere, the shaded areas are punctuated by hot colours.

Visiting private gardens on a thoughtfully curated tour like this one is so inspirational because you’re essentially invited to enjoy very personal expressions of creativity using colour and texture.

Close to where we stopped for lunch at the charming Mrs. Mitchell’s restaurant, a small garden included two very different shelters: a rectangular, open-air gazebo and a tiny, gothic-styled hideaway called “The Confessional”.

Part 3 of the OMG Summer Tour heading your way next week.

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