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Shopping in the perennial beds amidst a forest backdrop.

and jetsam of a garden centre. A former paddock is the domicile for sun lovers. In spite of

the hominess of John’s

Garden, it houses a surprising number of plants and varieties: 400 kinds of hosta and still counting, 140 varieties of daylilies, 100 varieties of clematis and much more. He has 35 varieties of hellebores and 20 species of grasses, plus many varieties within each species. He carries a lot of conifers, dwarfs

and many that are hard to find in Ontar- io. And, he is pushing the envelope. “I brought home a giant sequoia from B.C.,” he says, adding that he was also seduced by a Zone 6 and 7 Magnolia grandiflora. “It’s all worth a try here in this sheltered area where there is lots of snow and a good water supply.” Choice is what sets John’s Garden

apart from the regular garden centres – he makes plant dreams come true. While many garden centres are reduc- ing their choices in the name of effi- ciency, John believes in offering the widest choice he can. Consequently, he will have that special little plant your heart has been longing for, and people knowing this will drive a very long way to satisfy that yearning. An example of this is the lovely little Astilbe ‘Moulin Rouge’, which is a miniature, only two to three inches tall, extending to six or eight inches complete with flower spires. They are hard to come by but John has them. John says many of his suppliers,

mainly Ontario growers, are happy to supply him with limited orders. He goes right for the rare or limited production plants and often ends up getting the only ones around. He loves Van Noort Bulb, the grower and wholesaler of Shade perennials thrive in the shade of the forest.

The annuals at John’s Garden Centre merrily soaking up the sun.

Even the garden art looks right at home. Beautiful Gardens 2014 • 17

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