This Tranquil Country Garden Is The Perfect Peaceful Retreat
“We all need fresh air and sunshine,” says landscape architect Inese Bite. She gets plenty of both when minding the two-hectare property at her country home in Creemore, Ontario. As one of the founders of Vertechs Design, Inese spent 36 years spearheading landscape architecture projects in facilities from school campuses to commercial urban sites to hospitals and long-term care centers. Though she’s since sold the business, Inese understands that gardens can be restorative places of respite and renewal. Here’s how she used her know-how to create a weekend oasis and grow a veggie garden stocked with the perfect ingredients.
The moonlight garden features a selection of white flowering plants (Inese’s favorites) such as Abbotswood cinquefoil, white sage and Russian tarragon, which seem to glow at night.
The fenced-in kitchen garden is a constant source of just-picked ingredients that Inese relies on for favorite dishes such as sorrel soup. “I like cooking with fresh food,” she says. A pergola outfitted with two Muskoka charts offers a shady spot to enjoy a drink when it’s time to take a break from weeding.
In the kitchen garden, lettuces are protected by enclosures with lift-off tops for weeding, which Inese designed herself. “I can move the structures because they’re lightweight.”
Inese is flanked by white peonies and white clematis. Lemon thyme is planted on the path to the herb garden: brushing against it releases a citrusy aroma.
The circa-1890 farmhouse was renovated, including an addition, in 2005.
The house sits on the edge of a provincial nature reserve. Inese added a board-and-batten extension in a dramatic charcoal hue, which contrasts with the creamy stone of the existing farmhouse.
A table on the front porch is a favorite spot for morning coffee, and is accented by a jug of fresh-cut fragrant peonies.
The screened porch is comfortably furnished with wicker chairs, a graphic rug and a ceiling fan. Inese painted the old chairs black for a fresh look.
Chocolate, pineapple and standard mint varieties are kept handy near the screened porch door alongside a Haddenstone fountain, now used as a planter. A large ‘Guacamole’ hosta has dramatic avocado-colored leaves with dark edges.
A birdbath is surrounded by distinctive purple blooms. “We have a couple of birdbaths on the property. In really dry summers, it’s great to see the birds enjoy a bath.”