by David Dunn of Rideau Woodland Ramble
There are days when I get the greatest joy out of just rambling. Following the trails and paths through the woodland and through the gardens always brings an inner peace and that unique sense of inspiration when you see an unexpected bird, or a woodland flower about to bloom. No stress here!
One of the easiest ways to create an inviting garden is to carve paths through the property, in the woods, and through the fields. These paths create rooms, edges and destinations, and set up vistas and views that will capture your imagination. Once you have laid out a path system, your garden can evolve almost like paint by numbers…just fill in the gaps. A shady bench beckons in the natural air conditioning of forest shade.
Paths present opportunities to present artwork and sculpture in settings that can be majestic, poetic or humorous. A walk down our woodland ramble brings the surprise of a Picasso-like head, and further down a little mouse family, as well as a glimpse at Pieter Doef’s constitutional debate!
When creating gardens within a path system in the woodland, you must amend the soil with 6-12 inches of fresh soil in order to counter the natural growth inhibitors of the forest floor. This will ensure young plants can establish themselves and flourish. Take advantage of the opportunity to present plants and art in a manner that will capture the imagination of the visitor, with a little surprise, interesting combinations, colours and textures. When you are finished, ramble your creation and soak up the positive energy and creative spirit it generates!
Rideau Woodland Ramble (613-258-3797) is open from April to October 7 days a week from 9am-5pm,