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‘Princess Diana’ clematis frames the entrance to this small back yard perfectly, welcoming people in. The permeable patio helps infiltrate water and keep our creeks clean.

Create destinations in the garden where folks can

Many of the most popular ornamentals are also

medicinal. Lavender, echinacea and herbs could be planted just for beauty’s sake. Our native bee balm – Monarda fistulosa – is an excellent example of a multi- purpose plant. It’s used to fight yeast infections and as a nerve tonic. It’s lovely and it’s great for pollinator support. Echinacea is one of the plants that many folks know the botanical name of, maybe even more readily than they know the common name. This plant is wonderful not only for its medicinal proper- ties, but it’s also great for butterflies, bees and birds. Goldfinches love the seed in winter. Growing edibles makes one particularly aware

of the pollinator issue, so support for bees was designed into the garden and it positively hums with tiny wings! This gives the added benefit of beautiful butterflies bobbing their way from flower to flower. From early blooming fruit trees to late blooming blanket flower, pollinators never want for food. All paving surfaces, from the driveway to the back

patio, are built of Permacon Subterra permeable pavers, ensuring rain soaks into the ground instead of running off into the storm sewers. Each of these has an extra deep (14 in.) base of clear gravel (no fine particles) meaning that there’s a large holding area for storm water. If everyone tried to keep a bit of water on their property, there would be fewer flooding issues, which is a big deal, since flooding now represents the number one insurance claim in Canada. The property has no lawn and even the boulevard

Have fun with herbs! They can be used in interesting ways and add interest to the garden. To get the best flavour, use less water, provided that you are still able to water enough to keep them healthy.

14 • Beautiful Gardens 2015

is planted. Salt-tolerant plants include Mexican hat (Ratibida), little bluestem and lavender. It’s a riot of colour from early spring until the snow flies. Not

Photo by Sean James.

Photo by Juho Vaino.

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