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Fine gardens on display (11 photos)

Garden Showcase 2016 happens Sunday afternoon

For Paul and Jakki Jeffs, a flower garden is a piece of Eden, and a sanctuary from life’s stresses. Every available piece of outdoor space around their Wagoners Trail home in west side Guelph is thickly planted with blooming plants – even the boulevard.

The Jeffs’ home is a new addition to the Guelph Horticultural Society’s Garden Showcase, the annual garden tour that opens the best of Guelph’s exquisite local hobby gardens up to the public. There are seven stops on the tour this year.

It happens, rain or shine, on Sunday from 1-5:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at Brock Road Nursery, Royal City Nursery, or at any of the garden locations. There’s an event poster and map at www.guelphhort.org/index.cfm?page=gardenTour.

The tour will feature live performances by local musicians, the art works of members of the Guelph Creative Arts Association, and door prizes. A few master gardeners will be on hand.

Jakki Jeffs said she was the second child in her family. Her father, already with one daughter, was hoping for a boy.

“So, I was the tomboy, and I learn it all from my father,” she said. “I was into woodworking and gardening, and that’s probably what planted the seed for what you see today.”

Jeffs said her emotional wellbeing has been maintained by getting her hands and knees dirty in the garden. She is the soil and plant person in the operation, Paul is the self-described “water feature operator.” He also enjoys sitting among the plants, while his wife prefers working with them.

Does keeping a blissful garden contribute to matrimonial bliss?

“If gardening was used to solidify the bond of marriage there would be a lot more failed marriages,” Paul joked. Knowing your role and sticking to it is crucial to preserving amicable relations, he indicated.

The Jeffs’ next door neighbours on Wagoners Trail have been in the tour for some time. When event organizers stopped in on them this spring they were also bedazzled by the Jeffs’ garden and invited them to participate.

“People in the neighbourhood just love to see the garden come in,” Jakki added. “It gets a lot of attention.”

As seemingly symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing as it is, the garden is not meticulously planned.

“Most of the credit has to go to nature,” she said. “I just love to see everything grow.”