Garden tour highlights best of summer

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Ten years ago they bought a property on Sanders St. in Tillsonburg, but it wasn’t the house that intrigued buyers Donna and Larry Scanlan.

“We purchased it because of the 1869 barn,” explained Donna Scanlan.

A garden shed, original to the property, has also been preserved as a backdrop to their gardens.

On display in front of the historical barn are a 1926 Roadster and 1948 Ford - the year Larry was born - that he rebuilt on his own.

After tearing down and rebuilding the house, about five years ago the couple turned their talents to the gardens that were a stop on the Beyond the Garden Gate garden tour and featured artists hosted by the Tillsonburg Horticultural Society and Station Arts Centre Saturday afternoon.

The garden is a mix of hydrangeas, daylilies, ground covers, roses, lilacs, balloon flowers, bleeding hearts and daisies.

Scanlan explains it’s difficult to pick her favourite plants or even garden.

“It’s like how do you like your kids?” she said. “You like them all even if some are troublesome - like my hot garden.”

Whimsical elements on the property include a former urinal repurposed into a fence planter and a dedicated hosta garden.

“I do love the different colours of the hostas,” Scanlan said. “Look at the colour and shapes - the names I don’t know - but they are so pretty.”

On Plank Line near Ostrander a couple that has lived in their home for 28 years has created a labour of love.

Working about eight hours a week, Ben and Ethel Janssens have transformed their two-acre property into a lush retreat.

Their gardens and grounds, which include a vegetable garden and a spectacular pool garden, are filled with native trees, shrubs and perennials.

“It’s an ongoing project,” Ben Janssens said. “When we got here there was nothing.” 


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