Garden Adventures

Canada (Gairloch Gardens)

Gairloch Gardens in our little town of Oakville Ontario, so close. Sometimes we forget how special home is. Forestwood is but a few blocks from this wonderful oasis on the norther shores of Lake Ontario, just west of Toronto. This estate property bearing the Gaelic word for “short lake” was bequeathed to the Town of Oakville in 1971 when it’s owner James Gairdner died. Originally it was part of 400 acres of farm land, part of an 11 acre severance in 1922, purchased by Colonel William Mackendrick. I rarely document a garden in the winter, but truth is, a mature garden is always beautiful in every season. So while I almost suffered frost bite in 28 below celsius weather I did try to capture some of the beauty of this lovely old garden, which is still adorned by the original Tudor style house, now home to a local art gallery nestled in the southeast corner of the garden. In the warner months this garden is quite spectacular and much desired for wedding photography. www.oakvillegalleries.com

 

IMG_2785

Canada (Niagara Region)

his summer we made two visits to Niagara-On-The-Lake, one of our favourite getaway spots nearby. The famous Shaw Theatre is the main drawing card, but this historic town and lovely vista on the Niagara River just north of the Falls, is simply exquisite. Not too far away is another stop we like, a town called, “Jordan”. My favourite store there is called, “The Copper Leaf Garden Store”. Not only do they have some really interesting things for your garden, the design and setting of their store is absolutely beautiful. I thought I might share some snaps of the store and by all means, if you have time drop in on them. They’re on the main street of Jordan, Ontario. “On The Twenty” is also worthwhile. A great place to eat.

 

IMG_4399

Hawaii

First time to Hawaii and second time at a Four Seasons. Does the word “WOW!” come to mind? Yes. Any garden featuring daily whale jumps in the Pacific and volcanic tropical backdrops is pretty hard to top. The meticulous care of the property and gardens, as well as the natural setting is about as good as it gets.

 

Hawaii_1

 

Austria

The gardens at Schönbrunn Palace are grand in classic proportions. The history of these gardens add a maturity that is uniquely old Europe with its palatial surroundings. Vienna is full of such views, in a Parisian tradition.

 

Austria_1

 

Wales

This lush country with a climate ripe for gardening is one of my favourite spots on Earth. The sweet smell of the sea air and the dramatic scapes are more than worth the trip. Our friends who introduced us to this charming country lived on the southwest coast in a lovely town called Tenby. We stayed at Penally Abbey, a converted property that now serves as a world-class inn, featuring some beautiful gardens.

 

Wales_1

 

Ireland

Call me partial, but every Irish gardener should visit the homeland and awaken the green thumb within. Ireland is the home of my ancestral roots and it’s darn pretty! Why did my relatives decide to move anyway? The gardens and antiquated ambience of Bunratty village, a historical tourist village, was one of many favourite memories. We also visited the Japanese Garden at the Dublin Stud Farm – enchanting!

 

Ireland_1

 

France

Those French know how to do it! Some of the most beautiful gardens in the world are nestled in the countryside of France. From the opulent gardens of Versailles to a lovely hotel court garden right in the middle of busy Avignon.

France_6