When my sister called to say that she was coming into Prince Albert for the day, I knew that I had to find a place that would soothe and heal – a place where she could forget about her son’s recent suicide, at least for a little while. And I had just to perfect place to take her: Ben and Joni’s beautiful yard. If anything can soothe a soul, it is the peacefulness and beauty of that magical space.
The Hladun yard is a whimsical world of plants, flowers and ornaments. The magic of this special place is evident from the moment you drive down their street and look up toward the house. No matter where your eyes turn, there is beauty in the form of plants, decorations and art. One of my favorite items is an old door which has been cleverly converted into a plant holder and sits in their front yard.
A walk through the gate leading to their backyard is truly a magical journey. There are so many things to see that it is necessary to walk around the yard several times in order to attempt to see it all. I love the many ornaments from angels to pottery to wagon wheels and beautiful unique bird houses created by Ben. There are mirrors and paintings strategically located throughout. There are trunks filled with plants and pottery placed among the many plants. The foliage and greenery are a treasure to behold. In fact, on a previous visit, Joni disclosed that there are over four hundred flower pots in her yard! It takes her many days to set up her yard each spring.
Not only is the beauty of the yard itself worth a visit, the hospitality of Ben and Joni is second to none. We were met in the back yard with a glass of wine and a personal tour by Ben. He entertained us with stories of what the yard looked like when they moved in back in the 80’s and commented on the many changes and additions they created to make it the wonderland it has become. Not content to simply show us the yard, Joni insisted that Ben give us a tour of their home as well, where, it soon became apparent, the magic continues.
For my sister, this truly was a healing afternoon. She said later that she felt more relaxed and peaceful than she had felt since the day of her son’s death. An afternoon in Joni and Ben’s garden and home was just what she needed to escape her sorrow for a few hours.
Thank you, Joni and Ben for sharing your beautiful yard and home with us. Your hospitality and kindness helped us in ways you will never know.