Naested Gardens: Image Gallery

Naested Garden - An Inner-city Country Garden

In the Calgary Herald in July, 2019 there was an article on “Deadheading Keeps the Garden Alive”. One argument to support this practice is to avoid the “wild abandon” of an uncontrolled, riotous growth of a cottage garden. Well, I am proud to say I have finally achieved this state in my inner-city garden and it is a recognized distinct style of gardening! I think my garden is wonderful and it gives me great joy.

“The cottage garden is a distinct style that uses informal design, traditional materials, dense plantings, and a mixture of ornamental and edible plants. English in origin, it depends on grace and charm rather than grandeur and formal structure. Homely and functional gardens connected to working-class cottages go back centuries, but their stylized reinvention occurred in 1870s England, as a reaction to the more structured, rigorously maintained estate gardens with their formal designs and mass plantings of greenhouse annuals.” (Wikipedia definition)

Delphiniums grow well in my garden. They flower in June and July so will be gone “to seed” by the time The Passport to the Arts in the Garden Event is on in September. The word delphinion (Greek) means dolphin due to the dolphin-shaped flowers. The plan is topic to humans and livestock but it attracts butterflies and bees. The main flowering stem is erect and can grow up to 2 meters in height.

There is an abundance of Squirrels that make their home in my garden. They come in a variety of shades and tints of browns, grays and blacks. They seem to prefer to live in my mature turees that produce pine and spruce cones for them to feed on. They are feisty rodents with a “cute” tail. They chatter often and flick their tails. It is entertaining to watch them chasing and doing acrobatics. The downside of having these creatures in my garden is that they often chew on garden furniture and also hanging lights. They seem to think the light bulbs are plant bulbs and often bury them.

Maltese (Red) Cross has long been a popular flower in cottage gardens. The flowers are produced in clusters of 10 – 50 together, each flower is bright red, 1-3 cm in diameter, they have deeply fine-lobed corolla. Each lobe being further split into 2 smaller lobes. The plant grows best in partial to full sun. The flower period is extended if faded flowers are removed. The plants form an upright clump of bright green leaves, with taller stems in summer that bear the large clusters of scarlet-orange flowers. Excellent for cutting. The flowers attract butterflies, bees and sometimes humming birds.

I often plant Pumpkins in my garden. Sometimes I actually get orange fruit before the first frost! But what I love about the plant is the large impressive leaves and the optimistic orange yellow flowers.  I generally start them indoors the early spring. First, I put the seeds between damp cloth for a couple of days, then transfer the broken seeds to small peat pots, then to larger pots, then into my garden.

The plant grows on long, sprawling vines where large, orange coloured blooms appear. The flower requires pollinators, usually bees, to transfer pollen from the male to the female flowers. The female flowers have a bulge, which is the ovary that develop into a pumpkin when pollinated. It is the female flower that produces the fruit.


Beebalm – A Striking display of richly coloured flowers that flower throughout the summer and last into the first frosts of Fall. I love the “Raspberry wine” colour, not just for its name but also for its deep red flowers. The foliage is delightfully fragrant and attracts bees, butterlies and hummingbirds. They grow to a height of four feet.


Painted Daisy

These daisy flowers are the one of the first flowers to appear in Irene’s garden. The showy flowers come in various brilliant hues of red, yellow, white, violet and pink with yellow centers, above mounds of bright green finely cut foliage. These flowers are great for cutting and are the first to flower in the spring.

Liatris flower is a dense blazing star, or prairie feather. This perennial is a flowering plant in the sunflower and daisy family Asteracease. The plants have tall spikes of showy purple or white flowers resembling bottle brushes or feathers. They grow approximately 1 foot tall. They are wonderful for cut flower arrangements. (The dried flowers give off a vanilla scent) They bloom throughout July to September.

Golden Rod Solidago – Solidago is native to North America. It derives its name from the Latin words solido, which means “to strengthen or make whole”. And ago which means “to make”. The name refers to the medical properties attributed to the flowers. Irene uses these yellow flowers  with lovely foliage to add to her cut flower arrangements.


Feverfew – has small, white, daisy-like flowers with bright yellow centers. With an almost citrus scent. Great addition to a vase of cut flowers. The feverfew herb was used in the past to treat a variety of conditions such as headaches and arthritis.


Foxglove – is a biennial plant grown by Irene as an ornamental plant with vivid flowers that range in colour from purples to pinks and white.



Echinacea is a flower of the daisy family, commonly called “Coneflower”. The florets arrange in a prominent, somewhat cone-shaped head.  “Cone-shaped” because the petals of the outer florets tend to point downward once the flower head opens, thus forming a cone. (The cone is at the center of the flower head). The large, showy heads of composite flowers bloom early to late summer. In my garden I have several colours of echinacea, pink, orange, yellow…




Allium (blue giant hyssop) is a genus of monocotyledonous flowering plants that includes the cultivated onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, leek and chives. The generic name Allium is the Latin word for garlic. These lovely purple globes are a great addition to cut flower arrangements.