I always admired the garden of Thomas Hobbs and Brent Beattie in the pages of garden magazines. Last weekend I finally got the chance to visit their new garden in Langley. I love their new garden. It’s very different from their last home in Vancouver.
As usual we arrived early like eager gardeners do. Outside the gates we were able to admire the perennial border which formed a huge semi-circle framing the entrance to the property. Cotinus and Barberry repeated throughout the background with Verbena bonariensis and its tiny purple flowers swaying in the breeze. Brent greeted us at ten o’clock and had us drive in and park on the lawn.
As we parked our cars on the grass I took a look around. This is just one area of the property. Huge swathes of lawn fill this garden. When this property was bought this area was all brambles and its taken a lot of hard work to get it to this point. Brent dreams of one day having a meadow garden here. We talked about John Greenlee and his excellent designs of meadow gardens. Remember my post about Westwind Farm Studio? They are located in Portland and John Greenlee designed a large meadow garden below the house. With the rolling landscape above I can envision how a meadow garden would look perfect here.
Tall trees have been planted around the private area of the home. Here they provide an excellent backdrop to a large bed of lavender. The bees were in heaven in this garden.
As I walked this garden I kept thinking back to my visit to Bella Madrona last year. Some of the funky benches and reclaimed items made me realize how much I love this style.
For those of you who love barns like I do, Tom and Brent have big plans for this one. They will be restoring it so we will have to visit this garden again in a few years.
I loved this collection of memorabilia on the barn wall. I find this type of collecting so interesting. It brings back memories of times gone by.
Even the old farm equipment looks like its been here forever. What would a twenty acre garden be without farm equipment? I can see this collection growing over the years.
Tom was eager to take us for a walk on his latest garden around the lake. I fell in love with this Karl Foerster grass known botanically as Calamagrostis x acutiflora. The way this grass shows movement near the lake is amazing.
The garden around the lake is full of texture from the Japanese forest grass with its narrow leaves in contrast with larger leaved plants in behind. I didn’t get the name of the large plant in behind, sorry. The lake is surrounded by old growth trees, some with trunks so large you would need several people joining hands to get around them. Nurse logs hundreds of years old sport new growth creating a shady paradise. Paths lead down to the nearby Little Campbell River and equestrian trails. As Tom says they are probably the only property around that doesn’t have horses.
Near the home a lovely bed using Hebes and other lovely perennials flanks one side of the front door. Gardens on this property are close to the home for ease of watering. The water source is a well and the whole garden is watered by hand. Think twenty acres and it makes sense to keep most gardens close to the water source.
As I walked to the back yard behind the house I came to a large fence that they thought they would need to keep the deer out. Little did they know that the farmer in the distance behind them allows hunters to shoot deer when in season. So much for a real deer problem. Above the daylilies are just finishing but the lavender is in full bloom. It’s in this fenced area that the vegetables are grown along with a newly planted annual garden.
Behind the fenced garden is more lawn with a display of art. Every lawn should have this as it evokes a sense of play and isn’t that what lawn and balls are for? I have so many more photos but you really need to see this garden in person. With twenty acres of garden, there is vision to do so much. I have to thank Tom and Brent for welcoming us into their garden. Your stories about squatters and finding your lost dog made us laugh. We are glad you fought the battles in the beginning. Look how far the garden has come in just a few short years.
To see what Tom is working on in his Langley garden, follow his garden exploits at Tom Speaks. He takes much better photos than I and you will see all his latest and greatest plants.