|The Madills' front yard.|
There's trees such as Serviceberry, Lilac, and Ginkgo in the front yard; flowering cacti; vegetables; and nearly twenty varieties of hostas along the side of their house.
It wasn't always this way.
When the Madills moved into their Westdale home back in 1976, “The person who owned the house before us was a rose expert and a rose judge," Loueen explains, "there were 183 rose bushes on this property!”
Opposed to the monotony of monoculture, the couple keeps a pollinator garden because they love flowering plants. Loueen says that she has always loved butterflies, and learning about which flowers will attract them to the property. Her favourite plant on the property is in the evening primrose family: "It’s a beautiful sunshine yellow!" she exclaims. “Tonight when the sun goes down you can come stand out here and watch the flower unfurl.”
Loueen explains that this flower is for night pollinators. Very prolific, the primrose started in the backyard but grows in a different spot each year; “It just comes up on it’s own. How it got to the front yard, I don’t know!” she laughs.
Constantly Changing Garden
The garden is constantly changing. “It gives you an opportunity to express a certain amount of creativity and design,” says Norm, “It’s an opportunity to be working outside. It’s great exercise. I always lose some weight in the summertime which is good. I just enjoy working with the plants and the earth.” Loueen adds that learning about how different plants survive is phenomenal.
|"We love the prickly pear! And since this photo was taken on June 30th, one of the prickly pears flowered!"|
|Spot the bee box! The Madills were happy to report that their bee box was occupied.|
If you want to learn more about plants and gardening Norm recommends looking at some books. He suggests Mark Cullen for some easy and informative reading. The couple says that the major factors a gardener has to consider are light and soil. Norm replaced the soil in different beds with various kinds of soil depending on what he planned to grow there.
|We love their veggie garden!|
Both Loueen and Norm agree that gardening is gratifying. There’s joy in learning about it, experimenting and designing. It may be work, but it’s the fun kind of work!
Saige is an intern with Environment Hamilton, focused on local food.