Rocks to riches: Story of a garden

Talk about a rocky start! Dave and Heidi Rita (sorry, Rita!) Fleury got more than a “rock garden” when they purchased their Beach area home about four years ago – they got edge-to-edge beach stone, punctuated by some accent rocks and elderly evergreens.

The previous owners had taken the drastic measure of installing stone to keep dogs from peeing (et cetera) on their property. Well. I hope it worked for them. It probably saved on lawn care, but it’s a heckuva lot of stone.

In his years as owner, Dave has been chipping away at it to reclaim more varied growing space, adding colour and texture to his garden. The soil has been fed, and the evergreens babied into better health.

I must say that the effect is greater than the sum of its parts. Its way, all that stone makes an unusual, even dramatic foil for the greenery. “Greenery” is a loose term here, as Dave successfully repeats red, yellow and blue foliage in his garden renovation. He makes pretty good use of contrasting leaf textures, too, although I’d suggest adding more coarse and large leaves as time goes on.

He says it’s a work in progress. We say: keep up the good work.

Heidi Rita and David Fleury opened their garden to the Beach Garden Tour 2011


  1. I have always loved rocks and stones incorporated within gardens and even attempted to do that in my own backyard several years ago. However, my dogs continually rearranged them so that stones ended up in pathways which resulted in many sprained ankles.

    So now my yard is filled with wonder foliage but not a single rock or stone in sight. My canines won the battle.

    By the way, did I mention that Dave and Heidi’s garden is absolutely lovely?

  2. Are you positive that Dave's wife's name is Heidi? I think she really does prefer being called by her correct name, which is Rita. Beautiful job that they have done on the Gardens!

  3. Mea culpa! Apologies to Rita – who has fallen victim to my notorious namelexia (I forgot my husband's name once). You're right, twice, their garden is a gem.

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