A new botanical garden opened in August 2017 in southeastern Ontario. Quinte Botanical Gardens is a six-acre site in Frankford, Ont., developed by Deanna Groves and John Reidl, who operate The Garden Place landscape design and installation business. After 10 years of planning, work started in spring 2016.
“We have always enjoyed visiting gardens in our travels, and feel that a lot of other people do, too,” Deanna says. “Over the past few years, while operating our landscaping business, it became more evident how many benefits there are for people who garden or visit a garden. During our research we discovered the multitude of physical and mental health benefits there are when people just spend an hour or two quietly meandering around plants. Seniors can actually partake, people can learn about growing veggies, children have fun learning where food really comes from, people who are in high-stress positions or who are grieving can find peace just by walking through gardens.”
The garden is located an hour from Peterborough and Kingston and 15 minutes from the Canadian Forces base in Trenton. There are 41 businesses sponsoring portions of the gardens either with labour or materials, 15 volunteers and nine tourism organizations involved. With a small grant from the New Horizons for Seniors Program, they built a garden gazebo and will present free talks by professionals on issues important to seniors.
“Creating gardens isn’t new to us,” Deanna says. “We’ve created about 255 gardens with our landscaping businesses so far. Both John and I have business backgrounds, so accumulated business sense really gave us a good foundation (excuse the pun). People laugh at us because they don’t understand why we prefer to get our hands dirty, be among plants, and gently lift leopard frogs away from where we’re digging. Creating 28 gardens in one place, as a tourist attraction and learning centre, is new to us.”
The garden will include various themes, including a formal rose garden, an English garden, an edible garden and an interactive seniors’ garden with raised beds encouraging gentle participation.
“The gardens will act as a catalyst for other tourist attractions in the area,” says John, who has extensive hospitality “Local restaurants, stores, hotels and service stations will also benefit. Reports have proven to show that botanical gardens act as a gateway to a region, creating more of a variety of things to see and do.”
Quinte Botanical Garden
- 664 Glen Ross Rd., Frankford, Ontario
- Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. six days a week (closed Wednesdays for maintenance).
- Admission is $10 per person and children under six can enter for free.
- More information: www.qbgardens.ca