After retiring and moving here to Chatsworth Township in Grey County Ontario in 2002, we were able to realize a dream of not only living in the country, but to have in our “back yard” a woods with many beautiful trails to explore, woodland plants and ferns to become acquainted with, birds in our yard that we had never heard of, and back country ski trails in winter, thanks to a generous friend and neighbor.
We purchased the property in October of 2000, and in the spring of 2001 we brought hundreds of plants, including roses and peonies from our gardens in the city and plopped them into 3 rough holding beds along the lane. We would come up when we could and water with only a few five gallon pails of water and after going through one winter and two hot and dry summers, we didn’t lose one plant. The vegetable bed, the peony beds and the beds around the house were put in the late summer of 2002 and the surrounding gardens and pond added gradually over the years.
The summer after we moved in, David built a good sized greenhouse for my plant addiction and it is a joy to be in during the cold days of early spring. Against all odds, David transplanted Ash and Maple trees and Eastern Red and White Cedars from the surrounding regenerating forest to provide some much needed shade and all have survived and thrived. Apple, pear, maple, crab apple, oak trees and cherry bushes were purchased and put in as well. The green thumb of my mother’s gave us perennials and shrubs grown from seed and shared plants from dear friends are all treasures. We have achieved our vision of three seasons of colour and a winter landscape of texture, form, and yes, colour.
A member of the Backyard Habitat Certification Program, our ongoing goal is to know and preserve our surroundings, to respect the cycles of nature and to consistently maintain a welcoming and safe environment for all creatures.