How To Make Several Gardens from One Overgrown Garden


My Story

Can you really have too many? Nope! I think of myself as having a green thumb…. okay so maybe its brown and just really dirty but that is because I am always playing with plants!

When we lived in Toronto many years ago, I had a perennial garden. It came with our house but since I liked to garden from the time I was little, I made lots of changes to it which made it better. There came a time when I really couldn’t do much to it except add annuals and weed it. So that’s when I helped a new neighbour make one in front of their “run down” house that led to helping others as well.

3 busy boys!

With 3 really busy boys and an internal need to leave the city, we started looking for a 100 acre property. Sounded good until we realized how much 100 acres actually costs! (Sudden reality check!) That’s when we found our current home on 22 acres, it was a fixer upper! Actually we had seen it on our real estate website but it looked really weird and it was where…?

After looking at all the properties on the agent’s list (We didn’t like any), he got a call saying another one near us, was now on the market again. (conditional sale fell through) So… why not look at it? We were already near it. It was near highways, a town and no one knew we were coming. The owners were relaxing by the pool and after walking around property, the house; we saw the potential.. and the rest is history. Turns out this was the weird property we saw on line but in person…it was perfect!

The Beginning…

This house had over grown gardens and a lot of trees. It could not be seen from the road…privacy! There was so much room for 3 boys to play and it was close to amenities. I spent a lot of time cleaning out the gardens and well if you have ever tried to clean up with everything in the same area….and 3 boys… it’s so hard! That’s when I moved a bush, plant and small green things over to side of the pool by the pond. This was a sloped area of grass (really weeds) that was hard for me to cut with a push- gas mower. (My husband commuted to Toronto, so I was home and had… to cut grass!)

The beginning of the side garden
The Vegetable garden

This new side garden butted up to the pool fence on one side, along the deck lead and ended by the pond. It was a lot of work and there were so many rocks a variety of sizes with a lot of them the size of mixing bowls. Oh wait… rocks! I could make a rock garden with rocks around the plants and even create a rock retainer wall…. well, now I need more rocks! My boys 2, 3.5 and 13 years old helped me find “more” rocks on the property. We collected, lifted, dug, pulled, rolled and used the (kid’s) wagons to get them to the new side garden. This continued for years with every change and many new plants. Somewhere over the years the free labour ended (the kids discovered video games) and I have continued to make changes, weed, divide plants (to make more gardens!) and to grow with my garden.

Late summer view of side garden

This garden was my small project when we first moved here. Honestly it’s never ended. Over the last few years, I decided to put in a woman-made small waterfall with pond (Husband had to help with this too!) as the natural pond dries up and is way to big financially for us to line and rock it to our liking. I also moved some really big boulders (okay I rented a backhoe machine that my husband drove) around our new front porch (We didn’t actually have a front door or a porch before). Last year I planted in the new large rock garden that connected the path, waterfall-pond and the original little garden on the sloped hill between the pool and pond.

new small waterfall/pond-added years later

I am really happy with my gardens… yes this is plural! Jump 14 years and I now have a few (Several!) different gardens: The vegetable one, the “little pool/pond one”, the big rock-front one, the waterfall/pond one, the outhouse one (the outhouse is now gone), the bird feeder one, the sunflower one, the smurf one and my husband has a pumpkin one behind the barn. And of course with Ontario winters, everyone needs inside plants. I’ve always had some indoor plants, but somewhere in the last year I became fascinated with succulents! See below for some new arrivals 🙂

Some of my first succulents!

As I sit here writing this in the house… it’s -12 degrees Celsius outside and we are expecting another snow storm tomorrow, I feel the need to dream about better weather and when I can get outside to design, weed, cut back, divide and enjoy my gardens! If I can do all of this so can YOU.

I look forward to sharing my knowledge, experience, and my new learning curve as I learn about succulents and how not to kill them! Please share with me your experience, knowledge and tips as I continue to love plants and try to keep them happy!


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