A hosta-lover’s garden

Another gem on the 2012 Gardens of the Beach garden tour, this city garden demonstrates a graphic designer’s eye for colour, texture and composition. Beyond the arbor, the back garden is almost completely given up to the gardener’s massive hosta collection. Green lives here in many, many variations, and the effect is (strangely) simultaneously restful and energizing.

[Small apology: The collage is my first quick experiment with the free PicMonkey online photo-editing tool (thanks to VP at the Veg Plotting blog for the tip), so is slightly out of sequence. Please weigh in: Do you like the use of collage, or do you prefer bigger pictures?]

Clockwise, from large image: 1) A shady path, mulched with pine needles, winds to the backyard oasis. 2) In the front garden, a coppiced ‘Forest Pansy’ redbud (Cercis) is colourfully paired with a golden Caryopteris. 3) The back garden is a masterful collection of hostas in gold, blue and green. The sculpture is by Toronto sculptor Marilyn Walsh. 4) Hidden amongst the foliage, the two-tier deck is a secret bower, with bright blue accents. 5) Caryopteris closeup. Love the red stems, and the blue, late-summer flowers will be a bonus. 6) Tall goatsbeard (Aruncus) and cascading Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa) vary the texture.



  1. I prefer bigger pictures. I would have liked seeing that sculpture up close. It's hard to tell what it is in the smaller pic. Looks like a cool garden.

    1. Thanks, Alison. I had these images all set for a post, so these are the ones I experimented with. I agree that the mini-image can be hard to make out if the subject is complex. The collage probably would probably work better if the small cuts were detail shots.

  2. I'm a recent reader – can't remember how I got here but probably came from a blog that you commented on to see your front re-do. I, too, prefer the bigger pictures. You might be right about using detail shots in a collage but I kind of think even for those I might prefer the bigger pictures. Thanks for the lovely garden tours!

    Barbara H.

  3. Hi Helen – thanks for the link love 🙂

    Personally I prefer the collage and I think you've used it well. NB You can also alter the templates given quite a lot by altering the picture size(s) and taking out slots you don't need which then gives space for bigger shots if needed.

    I really hate it when lots of pictures are presented one after another and tend not to read/take in the pictures and text further down in posts when this happens. The 6 pictures you've used would be fine for me as single images, but you'd lose me after that. That's why I chose to present 3 collages in the post you spotted and each of them introduces a change of subject.

    As we all have differing tastes (so you'll never please everyone!) and it's your blog it's probably best to do what's best for you 🙂

  4. The hostas are gorgeous–obviously, no deer snacking in that garden! 😉 In this post, I like the collage. Somehow, it gives a nice, cohesive view of the garden. Usually, I like larger, more detailed photos–but the collage works well here, in my opinion. I also like it because I'm about to redo several areas in our shady gardens, so I saw a nice use of layers and textures. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi Helen, lovely looking garden, I adore the wooden archway that looks so cosy and inviting. I like to vary the use of collages and single photos, depending on my mood, how many photos I'm using and how similar they are to each other. I also use pic monkey for collages and editing photos, find it easy to use and effective. cheers, catmint

  6. I like the collage and think it's a good addition, but, I like larger photos and the detail they often show. It really is a lovely garden~Marvelous textures.

  7. So lush and lovely, Helen. I am a 'hosta lover' BIG TIME! Nice collage (hope I answered your questions on FB … happy to help whenever.)

  8. Helen girl !! how are you ? … I love the look of your blog now and I would love to be lost in a sea of hosta and tall ancient trees .. I am revamping my garden ever so slowly .. as in taking my beloved Stag Horn Sumac out .. it was a tough decision, but it had been looking lack luster and close to its end .. especially since I had trained it to be pollard and look like a palm tree for me : )it was a grand experiment but OH !! all of those escaping babies reaching underneath all the garden .. too much work!
    I have been training Golden Spirit SB as a tree and I think it is going to look amazing when I get it planted there next Spring.
    Enough about me girl … I really like the collage and this garden is so peaceful … totally beautiful ! Ah … one day mine will be too ? LOL

  9. I'm not usually a collage fan – and hope you don't get carried away with the new toy. However, I like this collage because it's got a big picture in it. The little ones are illuminating extras. When visiting blogs, I don't click to enlarge many pictures so, to me, being able to appreciate something at first sight matters. I've been looking at Picture Monkey (since VP's post) too but lost what I was doing as soon as I'd started so I'll be going back to have another go.

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