Bernice and Bob have created an oasis in the heart of the city.
I park the car, walk across the street to Bernice and Bob Hibbs’ home, and smile. The dappled light on the front garden seems to wink at me; this garden is a winner. Hostas of several varieties, still wet with dew, welcome me. The fern-leafed bleeding hearts softly brush the larger leaves of their neighbours. The bright blooms of the luscious lipstick-red begonias beg a kiss. Yes, this garden is a winner.
I walk through the carport to the rear garden and smile again. A friend quips, “Have you written up this garden yet?” “No,” I reply, “but I think I will.” What a lovely garden; what a beautiful place to be!
One might not suspect such a gorgeous garden at a downtown address. The views seem perfect. The overview from the top step is stunning; the whole garden is heart stopping.
As you wander, you notice that it is full of little rooms and spaces. There are three or four bistro tables and chairs where one may sit and read. If you wish to lounge, you might slip away to the latticed room with the sofa all to yourself. A second choice might be a Muskoka chair beside the fountain where you can listen to the music of the water.
Bernice and Bob have created an oasis in the heart of the city. It seems everywhere you look there is a separate picture: a huge stone that has its own story, the wide gate to the laneway, even the entrance to the shed seems special with its black door, black iron hanging and its own pot of red geraniums.
Like the fabled scarlet twine that was in the centre of all British Navy rope, this garden was sewn together with one particular shade of red. The umbrella, seat cushions, the geraniums, the glassware on the bistro tables are the continuous thread from front door to back gate.
Let me gush one more time and call this a great garden. Like all great gardens, Bernice and Bob have made the superlative by their attention to detail. The touch of an artist is evident everywhere in this beautiful space.
There are many nice gardens, but when the gardeners are also artists, the garden is great. Bernice’s father and grandfather were gardeners, so “it was a natural desire for me to always want to have beauty around me,” she says.
For Bob it was all about creating the garden with pathways, different beds, water features and different seating areas. The fun for Bob was the process, from idea and vision to the finished product.
Bernice says, “I love when a day in the yard ends and I close the garden door taking one more last look at my efforts and the garden looks beautiful and I smile.”