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Tim Evans’ garden for sharing

Story and photos by Dorothy Dobbie

In the lush green beds of the backyard, the Victory Orangery greenhouse is barely visible. T

he river rolls lazily by Tim Evans’ Assiniboine-side home, imparting a dreamy quality to

this romantic garden. Round beds of tall flowers, their petals shifting in the eddies of air that disturb the still morn- ing sunshine, punctuate the manicured lawn. The plantings are unrestrained, the plants energetic thanks to the river water that runs through their phloem and xylem. The water is filled with nutrition, melted down silt-size, so that hungry roots can make use of its miner- als. The only other sign of its presence is a grayish sheen on the hostas, giving them an other-worldly quality. Tim has in mind Piet Oudolf’s

18 • Beautiful Gardens 2015

vision; masses of tall perennials set off by emerald lawns, like people at a party waiting for the music to fill the dance floor. You can see this fantasy in Tim’s garden in the height and freedom of the plants, most of them native and not easy to control, but are confined by his choreography. Tim’s vision has more warmth than

Oudolf’s. For one thing it is interposed by Zen images; East Indian Buddhas and other symbols. He wants the seren- ity of the symbols to invade the space, but his own personality keeps popping in – a touch of Victoriana, here and there in the wrought iron trellises and dividers and, especially, in the Victory

Orangery greenhouse that hugs one corner overlooking the river. It was here, short weeks ago that a quartet of WSO string musicians played “Making Whoopee” in the garden, while a hundred of their best friends dined from linen-covered tables in this fairy- land setting. This is Tim’s third garden in the city:

he constructed other lovely visions in the yards of both his previous homes; in its early days, Manitoba Gardener covered the one in Osborne Village. “My grandfather was a gardener,” says Tim. “He grew begonias and dahlias and gladiolas outdoors, but his love was his house plants, the African


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