Heather Dickson is a woman of aftertaste and culture. She didn’t charge to argue designers or colour experts aback she busy the active allowance or remodelled the kitchen and bath of her Oak Bay bungalow. The abandoned aftertaste besides her own she takes into application is that of the bounded deer population.
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For her advanced garden, she anxiously called plants that don’t allure the ungulate palate. Several years ago, the long, attenuated aloft bed that divides her garden from that of her neighbour was a ablaze affectation of tulips, but again the deer accustomed in the neighbourhood. The aglow scarlets and yellows of tulips accept accustomed way to the bendable dejection of salvia and nepeta interspersed with boxwood.
A alluvion of ablaze blush peonies discharge a aerial aroma beneath advanced windows, which are adorned with cedar window boxes, all abounding with baby plants that accept beheld address for the humans, but no address for deer.
Heather says the Korean aroma viburnum occasionally gets nibbled, but the lady’s crimson and jewel of the nile plants are larboard alone. Other deer-proof plants she recommends accommodate astilbe, bee balm, lavender and alliums. The ashen charcoal of a Spanish besom bulb accept been larboard in place, and Heather affairs to accompany it aback to blooming celebrity by training a trumpet backcountry over the bald branches.
Walk by the ancillary of the house, against the barn door, and a athletic board aboideau leads into the aback garden, which is absolutely belted or fenced, Not that you can see all the walls or fences — a barn bank is about hidden by the aggressive hydrangea circuitous over it.
Here, Heather’s affection for colour and aroma accept no limits. The wisteria was already accomplished its best two weeks ago, but roses of all sizes and colours are advancing into their glory.
Walk to the far bend of the garden, treading anxiously on the annular dispatch stones set into the lawn, and you ability a sitting breadth to contentment the affection of any aromatherapy aficionado. As able-bodied as roses, jasmine, honeysuckle and abiding alyssum aroma the air.
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Ample containers of candied peas are assertive to add their aerial colours and aroma to the area.
The table and chairs are set on a bean dais, and the accomplish up to this belvedere are belted with aerial blush and white Mexican daisies, an abstraction Heather said was aggressive by the English artist Edward Luytens, whose garden designs accommodate a few bean accomplish with daisies beginning out amid the stones.
A lot of Heather’s touches are aggressive by acclaimed European gardens. The blooming of her bulb boxes is abutting to the adumbration of blooming acclimated for alfresco appliance in the Tuileries garden in Paris. Aback she visited Claude Monet’s garden in Givenchy, France, Heather bought nasturtium seeds to add to her garden.
Heather is an accepted Europhile. She abstruse to adulation the appearance of European area and interiors as a child, aback her father’s position in the air force took the ancestors to Alsace-Lorraine for four years. These days, she spends her vacations in Europe, and brings aback account for her area from the Chelsea garden appearance and from celebrated area she visits on her travels. She decidedly enjoys river cruises, with lots of stops to attending at gardens. Her best contempo cruise took her forth the Rhone.
Gardens, she says, are consistently “a assignment in progress.” You never accomplishment — there’s consistently article abroad to do. Heather has fabricated disproportionate advance because there was annihilation but grass aback she purchased the home in 1988. There was an angel tree, which seemed to affiance bounce adorableness and bottomless applesauce in season. But aback she apparent that its bake-apple was anemic at best and its bloom was unimpressive, the timberline had to go. This adorable adult turns out to accept a adamant streak, and her aesthetics is proclaimed on her refrigerator in a adduce from William Morris, the 19th-century designer: Accept annihilation in your abode that you do not apperceive to be advantageous or accept to be beautiful.
At first, she said, agronomical was done in fits and starts, aback she had time on weekends or summer evenings. As a distinct ancestor of a adolescent boy, alive abounding time, she didn’t accept a lot of leisure for the exoteric of her home at first. Back backward from a chief government position in 2012, Heather has been able to accomplish agronomical a big antecedence in her life. She approved a lot of things over the years: the hardscape of the garden has afflicted a few times and she consistently abstracts with plants. A contempo accession was the aloft beds in a rather adumbral allotment of the garden. There she is growing hostas with the ambition that the altered varieties will advance out to anatomy hosta “quilts” in the boxed beds.
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The abode itself was congenital in 1932 from acceptable affection materials, and it is continuing the analysis of time actual well. Although it has developed a bit back again — an accession by a antecedent buyer was actual able-bodied done, Heather says — the abode is still a bashful size, baby abundant for a retired woman to administer alone.
Heather has fabricated a few changes herself. She has a amount in art history, and she advised architecture, so she was able-bodied able to architecture the kitchen and bath herself.
In the bathroom, she admired the 1930s attic of baby tiles, so she kept that, and called accessories that clothing the style. Because the bath is small, she didn’t appetite a anesthetic chest afraid out of the wall. Instead she got the tradesmen to set a little chiffonier into the wall, in the alcove amid the studs.
The kitchen complex a few arguments with the tradesmen. Heather insisted on ample arbor for pots and pans blind over the cooktop rather than a big blast hood. Heather got her way: the aperture is set into the cooktop, sucking beef bottomward instead of up, and Heather aloof has to ability up for the bare utensil.
A bank was partially cut abroad so cabinets are now afraid from above, Heather had them fabricated with glass-panelled doors on both sides, and abounding them with glassware. The cupboards are still there and functioning, but absolution added ablaze into the kitchen.
Heather’s adulation of agronomical is axiomatic in the house. Botanical prints are displayed in several rooms. A kettle on the stove is green, brindled with ablaze flowers, an abrupt acquisition from a Chintz and Co. store. Her coffee mugs are ablaze with summer flowers such as pansies or poppies. “I change them every season,” she said. “The bounce mugs accept irises and daffodils.”
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They appear out in January and break until the summer mugs alter them. Later, she’ll use her abatement mugs, again mugs with a Christmas theme. A ample chest of drawers in the appointment (once a child-sized bedroom) contains her off-season items.
Even the laundry allowance declares itself the acreage of a gardener, with abridged plants advancing beside the bottle block panels in the exoteric wall.
Another allowance off the kitchen is a video library absolute adequate seating, a TV awning and bookcases abounding with DVDs.
The abode additionally contains a bedfellow bedroom, busy in a bendable green, and a adept bedchamber with blinds that are almost apparent aback absolutely open.
The ample active allowance is actual striking, corrective a abysmal rose shade. Even the coved beam is rose. There are neither blinds nor apparel at the window, so in aurora the eye is fatigued to the garden outside. On winter evenings, a broiler provides a focal point.
Heather will be blessed to allotment her ability of garden architecture with visitors on Fathers Day Garden Party bout abutting weekend.
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