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A Friend's Garden on
Prince Edward Island

Click here to visit Nancy's web site.

Nancy Oakes

Nancy, and her
shade gardens in July

Oldest Part of the Garden I
Oldest part of the garden II
At the center, the oldest part of the garden provides a shady, relaxing place to sit and view the surrounding three acres of perennials.

Pergola Beds Pergola Beds Pergola beds
The Pergola Beds. Click for plant details!
Entrance beds Entrance Beds
The Entrance Beds. Click for plant details!
The Growing Fields
The Growing Fields,
with close-ups of daylilies

Yup, the soil throughout PEI really is red, so much so when you happen upon road crews at work, it looks as if the land has been gouged and is bleeding. Undoubtedly, the red backdrop enhances the rolling green hills - the island indeed appears emerald - even in the midst of a two month drought this summer.

I can certainly see why Nancy fell in love with it and moved there permanently. Her garden started in seriousness, some years after, in 1990 - and by 1993 the addiction had overwhelmed her to the point she opened the gardens to the public and launched her nursery specializing in daylilies. For the non-maritime visitor, even the norm - like seaweed multch and bent alder furniture and garden screens - were unique glimpses at gardening in Canada's eastern provinces.

Nancy loves the unusual in plants, and has collected over 200 hybrid and species perennials (with small collections of Primulas, Columbines and hardy Geraniums); and propagates over 300 daylily cultivars. The garden is constantly expanding. This year - perhaps in response to the incredible heat and lack of rain, the scree garden was finished. And next year, a large farm pond and accompanying bog garden are a major goal, if only to survive through another period of drought!

With our 30 by 80 feet of urban garden space, it was amazing to see three acres actively being cared for. I got rid of most of my jealousy by helping to weed for a couple of days! But to have the space to explore the viability of so many different plants, and to have so much in bloom throughout the growing season - well, its unbeatable.

If you're visiting the island between the beginning of May and the end of August, I highly recommend you check out her garden - only a thirty minute drive from the capital, Charlottetown. You can check her website for futher details, and information on the times it's open to the public.

And thank you Nancy for helping me to name those plants!

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