Christine Kreutzer in her garden. SUPPLIED

Special to the Voice

Christine Kreutzer, at 14 Stella Street, is a recent recipient of the Pelham Community Beautification Committee’s thank you program. Kreutzer fell in love with Pelham’s small-town atmosphere when she was looking for a new home after retiring from her University of Toronto job in 2018. She has slowly and methodically transformed her front and back yards into beautiful showcases.

What was once mostly lawn is now a stunning garden made up of an array of evergreens, ornamental trees, shrubs, perennials, and several low-growing stonecrop and succulent plants. Large boulders and flagstone pavers give the garden depth and add to its character while providing a pathway that meanders up to the front door and throughout the front yard.

“I liken my garden to a living canvas—it is never finished and always changing,” says Kreutzer .

She says that structure, shape and form are valuable components when designing a garden.

“It is not so much the flower as it is the foliage on the various plants that gives a garden its appeal.”

Kreutzer attributes her love of gardening to her father and paternal grandmother. During her adult years, her love affair continued to grow through research, talking to fellow gardeners as well as trial and error.

“I love everything about gardening— the process of creating and designing a garden, using colour, shape and texture to create different canvases that change throughout the seasons and years, attracting birds and butterflies, integrating water features and sculpture into the design, and seeking out that elusive and unusual plant, tree or shrub.”

Kreutzer says she’ll get an idea or vision that usually turns out completely different by the time she finishes.

“I lose myself in the garden, where there is no stress and I can clear my head of all the ‘noise.’ I laugh and tell people that my house only gets cleaned in the winter and if it rains—but damn my garden looks good!”

Kreutzer says she was pleasantly surprised when the Beautification Committee approached her.

“I’m honoured and humbled to be recognized in this way, especially after recently visiting some stunning gardens at the Pelham Garden Club’s garden walk/tour.”

The Beautification Committee notes that 2022 is the Year of the Garden, and invites residents to alert them to particular gardens deserving recognition at [email protected]