Public Gardens flip book

public gardens excerpt

You can view online the Public Gardens section in the winter 2013-14 issue of Garden Making. Hint: Click the "Enable Full Screen" button at the top left for easy reading. You can order a print copy of the entire issue with free delivery. … [Read more...]

The best of Canada Garden Route tour

I made it from Victoria to St. John's!

Garden Making’s coast-to-coast tour of the Canada Garden Route began in mid-May on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island and ended a month and a half later in St. John’s, Newfoundland. And what an exciting, whirlwind trip it was! People ask me, “What was the best part of the trip?” And honestly, there were so many “bests” I thought the only way to answer the question was to jot … [Read more...]

Much to see at Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden

Lorraine Flanigan (left) with Garden Director Liz Klose in front of the magnificent display of rhododendrons.

When I arrived in St. John’s at the end of June, Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden Director Liz Klose handed me a fleece jacket—and with temperatures hovering around 10ºC, it was a cozy comfort! I quickly learned that it was “Junuary” and the harbingers of this cool weather, small smelt-like fish called capelin, were running. Welcome to Newfoundland! A … [Read more...]

A Canadian First! Halifax Public Gardens

HalifaxPG (17)

If the ornamental wrought-iron gates aren’t enough of a clue that this is a historic garden, then the serpentine “broderie”-patterned annual beds that snake through the lawns might give it away. But what will clinch it for sure, are the 32 carpet beds surrounding the beautifully restored Victorian bandstand that sits at the heart of the Halifax Public Gardens, Canada's first … [Read more...]

Kingsbrae Garden in charming St. Andrews

Kingsbrae operates a lovely café, tempting garden shop and a plant nursery.

From the moment I arrived at Kingsbrae Garden in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, my camera didn’t stop clicking. First there were the vivid orange begonias in the urn perched on the low stone wall in the entrance courtyard. Then the water rill called out for attention. Walking through the opening in the 10-foot (3-m) cedar hedge and into the perennial garden, my camera and I were … [Read more...]

Biking Quebec’s park and garden trails

Maison Dorion offers information about the park.

If you’ve ever huffed and puffed your way up the steep incline from Quebec City’s Old Port to the upper city, you might be forgiven for saying, “Non!” to exploring its gardens by bike. But you’d be missing one of the best ways to visit the city’s riverside parks and gardens. One of the main bicycle trails flanks the level shores of the St. Lawrence, with a fork off to … [Read more...]

Mosaïcultures is a hit at Montreal Botanical Garden

Tree of Birds honours endangered species.

No matter what the season, there’s always something happening at the Montreal Botanical Garden. I’ve been in November when frost rimmed the sparkling leaves of the last of the season’s perennials; I’ve visited in early May when tulips were blooming their faces off and an astonishing number of yellow magnolias flowered against a clear blue sky. This summer, during Garden … [Read more...]

Ottawa’s Central Experimental Farm

The perennials border in the Ornamental Gardens

If you didn’t know the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa was the first research station to be established by an Act of Parliament in 1886, the stunning display of more than 600 peonies, including those developed by prolific CEF hybridizer A.P. Saunders, would shout out their heritage with their blousy blooms, stocky stems and hardy disposition. If you didn’t know that … [Read more...]

Parkwood Estate: Oshawa’s Downton Abbey

Parkwood Estate

Carson the butler may not greet you at the front door, but if you showed up to work in the gardens at Parkwood Estate in Ontario during the Great Depression, Jessie the maid would soon put you in your place and send you scurrying for the back door. That’s what I found out when I took part in the Grand Estate Gardener workshop during my visit to Parkwood, a National Historic … [Read more...]

Thunder Bay parks make the most of a short season

At the Viewing Point: left to right, Lorraine Flanigan, Werner Schwar and Paul Fayrick. Photo: Kathy Walkinshaw

The gardening season in Thunder Bay, Ont., starts on the first full moon in June — that’s when parks staff start emptying the greenhouses of the thousands of annuals grown for the many parks that green city streets and byways, and plant them into the carefully prepared beds. When I visited on June 14, Canada’s Garden Day, the lilacs were perfuming the air and colouring front … [Read more...]

Restoration and rejuvenation at Royal Botanical Gardens

Carlo Balistrieri takes a break among the irises in the Laking Garden.

Plants have a habit of growing. And growing and growing and growing. That’s what has been happening at Ontario’s oldest botanical garden. The tiny dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) planted on the grounds of the Royal Botanical Gardens in 1952 (the first in Canada) now towers overhead. In the rock garden, ground-covering plants and shrubs spread their gnarled branches … [Read more...]

Urban buzz: The Toronto Botanical Garden is the place to grow

Toronto Botanical Garden bees

It’s a farmers’ market, a music festival, a beekeeper’s mecca and a kids’ camp — but most of all, the Toronto Botanical Garden is a city-sized garden blossoming with ideas and inspiration for anyone who wants to get down and dirty, and up close and horticultural. Located adjacent to Edwards Gardens, one of the city’s most popular parks, the Toronto Botanical Garden boasts 17 … [Read more...]

Learning by growing at Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens

Emily uses a spacer to mark where the annuals should be planted.

Marvelling at the creative plantings of the perennial borders, the herb garden and the colourful rose garden, you could be forgiven for not realizing that you’ve just walked into an outdoor classroom. This garden is one of a kind. Modelled after Britain’s Kew and the only horticultural teaching garden in North America, the School of Horticulture at the Niagara Parks Botanical … [Read more...]

Assiniboine Park: The heart and soul of Winnipeg

Assiniboine Park

If you’re a Winnipegger, chances are you’ve strolled the paths that meander through Assiniboine Park’s English Garden, been captivated by the magic of the circa 1914 Conservatory’s seasonal displays, attended a wedding in the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden or explored the Children’s Nature Playground with your children or grandchildren. For more than 100 years, this 400-acre urban … [Read more...]

Sculpture garden at Assiniboine Park

Vania Bowman at Assiniboine Psrk At Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg, Vania Bowman, head gardener at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, explains why she loves working in this much-loved garden. More on Assiniboine Park On Tour Report: Assiniboine Park: The heart and soul of Winnipeg Rose trials video:  In the pretty English Garden, gardeners are planting out some David Austin roses, … [Read more...]

Favourite spot at Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg

Maurice Lawson at Assiniboine Park

At Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg, Maurice Larson talks about his favourite spot in the English Garden. We visited in late May and the garden is in full glory in July and August. Garden Making magazine is touring Canada’s Garden Route coast-to-coast. Follow the tour at   More on Assiniboine Park On Tour Report: Assiniboine Park: The heart and … [Read more...]

David Austin rose trial at Assiniboine Park

Craig Gillespie at Assiniboine Park

At Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg, in the pretty English Garden, gardeners are planting out some David Austin roses, which will be tested for hardiness for the Zone 3 Manitoba climate. In the video, head gardener Craig Gillespie talks about the trial rose bed. More on Assiniboine Park On Tour Report: Assiniboine Park: The heart and soul of Winnipeg Favourite spot video:  … [Read more...]

5 great ways to experience the Devonian Botanic Garden


Along the Alaska Highway and 25 kilometeres outside of Edmonton, the University of Alberta’s Devonian Botanic Garden covers 190 acres with beautiful gardens and ecological preserves full of a dizzying variety of more than 11,000 plant species. During my visit along Canada’s Garden Route one day in May, general manager Ruby Swanson led me to a hillside covered with prairie … [Read more...]