Making a Garden Live Like a Storybook – Canterbury Gardens


Enough of my garden, welcome to Canterbury Lane. It is an acre and a half of pure staycation. Why would anyone want to travel when you have this beauty and creativity at home?

You enter the rear gardens through a clematis covered wrought iron gate (see gallery below), opening into a space surrounded by large trees and a ginkgo by the pool. The woodland gardens surround an adorable garden shed that would make any gardener fill with envy. I bet it has little fairies keeping it all neat.

Click on any image to be taken to the slide show of this garden. Each gallery has a slide show filled with ideas.

A tall, blue-checkered, hand-painted bird house is the focal point of the vast perennial beds. So many song birds, butterflies and hummingbirds were flying about it was like being the center of a storybook tale.

In the center of the garden, there is a large gazebo, surrounded by hydrangea. The pool is a beautiful addition to this garden and one I am sure is a very relaxing place to be on a hot summer’s day. There are many mature spruce and pine that this garden is cooled by the shade and transpiration of the trees. The property sits high, picking up a cooling breeze.

Every structure is a vignette of art in the garden. Some are colorfully painted or decorated, others like the gazebo, just ooze elegance. The lawn makes a nice relaxing ground plane for the numerous, bountifully filled perennial beds. Green is like the Little Black Dress, it makes everything else in the garden sparkle.

Rhododendron and azalea are generously planted, although not in bloom at this time. One plant that looks to be is the Allium. The big blue balls are beyond bloom time, but were realistically painted to add to the color in the garden. I just thought this a great and fun idea. Another wonderful addition was all the hand-painted plaques. Each one had a special saying just for gardeners. They added to the garden interest and the feel of being in a fairytale land.


Please take your time, click to see bigger and go through the images in the galleries. There are so many beautiful ideas and planting combinations to see. Click each gallery and enjoy each and every section of this wonderful garden.

Next garden post takes you to a garden I thought as pure wildlife heaven and even told the owner so. His home is a farmhouse built around 1840 sited in a beautiful valley. The gardens he created himself and they wind through arbor covered, brick-laid paths. When his post is up, see Nature and Wildlife Pics to see this gardener’s wildlife.

Now on Nature and Wildlife Pics, see Boundaries in Nature. Join the discussion. And it is thought-provoking too!

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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35 Responses to Making a Garden Live Like a Storybook – Canterbury Gardens

  1. meander1 says:

    This post brings such life to the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words”…you shared the perfect number of words to your wonderful photos. I must confess that my eye lingered with additional appreciation on that two story birdhouse. About a year ago, I came across the website of the craftsman who makes them. It is so nice to one displayed so beautifully. I will give the link although you can exclude it if you wish.
    These folks have an almost priceless jewel of a garden.

  2. acuriousgal says:

    What a beautiful place, such lush gardens! Love the gazebo and gate with clematis. Love your saying that the green here is like a little black dress, nice analogy!!!

  3. debsgarden says:

    Oh, my! So many wonderful images. A total delight to the eyes. I want a checkered bird house and an adorable garden shed, two blue chairs and a huge blue spruce! Well, the blue spruce won’t survive here, but the other ideas are doable. I notice that the garden shed is basic, but painted and surrounded with plantings in such a way to take one straight to fairy land! A garden shed has been on my wish list for a VERY long time…

    • The link above in meander1’s comment takes you to the artist making the birdhouse. I want one now too, even though I would have nowhere to erect one. It could live inside it is so pretty. Wrens were in the the one in this garden. Those Blue Spruce made my mouth drop too. Usually they lose that nice blue as they age, but not these. These folks must have the best soil around. The shed was simple but the arch topped door made it really different than most. I like how they had the window boxes too, plus that dog planter was sooo cute.

  4. What beautiful gardens! Such a masterpiece. So well planned out and everything is just gorgeous.

  5. bittster says:

    I think I need an attractive little shed too…. some day.
    The birdhouse is very nice, I would have trouble leaving it outside to the elements, I’d almost rather hide it away indoors! I was wondering about the alliums. I’ve seen other bright or metallic colors used and I would have trouble deciding how much is too much 🙂

    • They had the same question if they painted too many. They have a friend that paints them many colors and said that was a great look too. I guess I am partial to the color they are naturally, although these are darker than normal. The price of these birdhouses might make me keep them inside. I have a few outdoor handmade garden items that never go outside because I like them as indoor decor.

  6. Rebecca says:

    You’re right! Why WOULD anyone want to travel away from this charming property???? I didn’t take the time to go back and re-read…Did you mention whether one of the owners does the painting and uniquely special garden signs, etc.?

    • No, a friend of theirs does the painting of the plaques. Simple to do though, just like all those tiny rocks people use as paperweights. I have a friend that does ironwork and could easily make me those holders for me if I chose to paint flagstone.

  7. lulu says:

    Without question I would so enjoy a visit here. What an incredible rainbow of color!

  8. Jennifer says:

    I love the little checkered birdhouse and the way the purple clematis runs along the length of the wrought iron fence.

  9. This is a fantastic landscape, but I think the best part is the shed. It reminds me of Fantasy Island amusement park when I was a kid. They had little houses that you could look inside to see a scene from a fairy tale. When you pushed a button, it told you the story. Just darling.

    • Lin Celoni says:

      Pinting spent blooms – what an idea. I have hydrangeas instead of alums. Would that work? Can you open the gate with the clematis? Or does it all tangle together? I loved every minute I got to spend in their garden. Thanks for sharing.

    • I never was at Fantasy Island. In PA they have Christmas houses like what you describe to look inside and see a display.

  10. Absolutely beautiful! And still so many details to discover. Stunning! I really fell in love with the clematis overrunning the iron gate and the blue-checkered, hand-painted bird house in the middle of colourful perennial beds. I could imagine all the birds, butterflies and hummingbirds coming to visit the blossoms. I’d love to see it and think I need a portkey (Harry Potter) to reach this extraordinary garden … ^^
    Enjoyed your post very much! Have a nice week, Donna!

    • Would that not be great. I would be on my way to Germany then. It only seems right I should visit where my ancestors on both sides originated. Being 100% German you would think I enjoy German food, but not really. Maybe if I visited Germany the food would be better than they make it here. You also have a great week, Michèle.

  11. A.M.B. says:

    Beautiful! I’d never leave that garden. The pictures are gorgeous.

  12. Exactly: “Why would anyone want to travel when you have this beauty and creativity at home?”!!!!! I wouldn’t! 🙂 Happy Monday, Donna and a wonderful week. 🙂

  13. Indie says:

    I just love cute little sheds in the garden! And those blue spruces – WOW! We planted one in our yard. Hopefully one day our little spruce will get that big! I love how they have the blue bird house to give some vertical interest in the perennial bed. The painted alliums are too funny. Gorgeous garden!

  14. Oh yeah, oh yeah! If I had a little more money, that’s what my garden would look like!

    • Some of it could be done with just building or painting. That is how these folks did many of the things in the images. I would like to make some of these things. If you did not check out the galleries, have a look. The projects in many instances were doable.

  15. These are fairytale gardens. So charming. So lovely.

  16. who would want to leave indeed…that whole area around the gazebo is dreamy and i would be there for hours…then to the pool.

  17. Reblogged this on Flowergardengirlâ„¢ and commented:
    My garden blog friend Donna has outdone herself with this cottage style garden.

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