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Many folks think the garden is done after July. It doesn’t need to be that way. Visit garden centres throughout the season and buy what suits your soil and light exposure to ensure beauty year- round.


Tolerating clay, sand and salt, the low-maintenance duo of anise-hyssop and coneflower offers everything – blooms for half the summer, great winter interest and feed both birds and pollinators... you can’t ask for more than that! .


and bees. Tomatoes and squash have attractive fruit, flowers and foliage, as does eggplant. The lesson for gardens is not to underestimate the ornamental value of veggies. Native plants


Everyone has their own favourite


aspect about the garden. According to Mike Prong, the lead designer at Fern Ridge, “When touring the Fern Ridge office gardens, one thing, although not immediately noticeable


(which is by


design), is the abundant use of native (and cultivars of native) plants. The reason I find this particular aspect so intriguing is that there seems to be a general disposition that a native plant- ing will


look wild or weedy. This


couldn't be further from the truth, and, as evidenced in the Fern Ridge office gardens, native plantings seamlessly with "traditional" landscaping.”


can blend styles of


Biodiversity One of the foci of the garden is to


Adding annuals like coleus in planters means water can be selectively applied to give a tropical feel while heart-leaf aster and purple coneflowers are the workhorses. You don’t need to sacrifice beauty to support biodiversity.


18 • Beautiful Gardens 2015


support biodiversity. It’s not just for ethical reasons. Attracting birds to the garden with shelter and food means that birds will eat the bugs. The garden has never had pest issues get out of control and it’s all taken care of by nature. Monarchs and bees need all the help they can get right now and the big patch of milkweed helps tremendously. Adding pollinator habitat helps too, since many of the pollinators such as wasps and hoverflies are excellent predators. Leav- ing the garden standing through the winter ensures a good population of predator insects and spiders. When the


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