Garden Adventures

Villa Rufolo | Ravello, Italy

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I’ve seen some spectacular places on the planet, but when I think of gardens few places have the legacy of beauty that Italy has. This past fall I returned a third time to the Amalfi coast to enjoy a different season in Ravello, and in particular to visit for the first time the gardens of Villa Rufolo.

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The Arthur Meighen Gardens, Stratford, Ontario

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The grounds around the Stratford Festival are worth the trip, even if you’re not particularly fond of Mr. Shakespeare and his work. It had been some time since I’d been there, regretfully. My wife takes an annual pilgrimage weekend with her mom and sisters to hang out and take in a production.

Unfortunately I only brought my iPhone and so, with no real camera in hand, my image account of this surprisingly impressive garden fell short of what it might have been. That and the crowds made the potential for good picture-taking somewhat limited. None the less, the point of this blog is to bring attention to beautiful botanical destinations and not showcase my imagery. I hope this humble showcase will inspire a visit some bright summer day in the near future.

Not exploding popcorn on a stick!

Not exploding popcorn on a stick!

An Oasis in Sydney Part 1

One of the most memorable gardens I visited on a recent trip to Australia was Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, right along the harbour front in the heart of the city. Established in 1816, it is the oldest botanic garden and scientific institution in Australia – home to an outstanding collection of plants from around the world with a focus on Australia and the South Pacific.

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Celebrating The Year of the Rooster

I recently crossed off a “bucket list” item by making the long arduous journey to the Land Down Under and had the wonderful privilege of visiting some amazing gardens while there. The exhausting journey was well worth the destination.

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We landed in Sydney on Australia Day. It may have been misunderstood initially that the fireworks were just for us. However, we soon realized all of the unusual festivities were celebrating a national holiday and it was to be shared. We even got to hear “Crowded House” (for those who remember) play at the Opera House amphitheatre (Circle Quay) – bonus!

The Royal Botanical Outdoor Theatre of Greenery Part 3

For those who have been following my summer adventure at The Royal Botanical Gardens, a visit to the Barbara Laking Memorial Heritage Garden brings our tour to a conclusion. The smaller of the three I visited with the longest name, hmm? The Laking Garden celebrates the close connections that existed between plants and people in Southern Ontario gardens in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

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This garden is set out by itself and features heirloom varieties popular between 1880 and 1920 – including true heritage specimens acquired from old gardens in the area. Some no longer exist in the horticulture industry, and preserving them is important for reasons beyond their beauty and history.

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Mt. Cuba Center – A Botanical Fantastic Destination!

One of our designers brought this piece of Eden to my attention and well, I just had to share it with my fussy followers. Mt. Cuba Center is a botanical garden unlike any other on 500 acres of vital natural lands featuring native plant gardens. Thank you, Delaware! What an amazing place—and the website is fantastic. You’ll especially like the virtual tour of the properties. Make sure you watch “Tour Mt. Cuba Center – watch the full tour.”

Visit mtcubacenter.org

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The Royal Botanical Outdoor Theatre of Greenery Part 2

When I visited The Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington / Hamilton, Ontario last summer I was very surprised to realize how vast their different properties are. What started as a notion to spend a leisurely afternoon checking out what the RBG was all about turned into a briskly paced marathon through only three of the gardens, punctuated by drives to parking lot areas at their various locations spread out over kilometres. And there was lots more I didn’t see.

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This helpful legend gave an excellent overview and helped guide my priorities for this visit.

A Summer Garden Wedding in British Columbia Part 2

I thought I’d share some additional photos from the garden wedding I recently attended at a private farm outside of Vancouver, British Columbia. Enjoy!

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I’ve always loved Blue Hydrangea and they had plenty of the best examples I’ve seen anywhere. The flowers get their colour from the pH in the soil. By adjusting the pH, you can turn pink flowers into blue (or blue flowers into pink).

A Summer Garden Wedding in British Columbia

I have attended some impressive weddings over the years, but this was my first garden wedding and it was simply spectacular! A memorable day at a private farm outside of Vancouver, BC. With the history of rainfall this summer out west it was nothing shy of a miracle how perfect the day’s weather was and as a result everything was lush and green.

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