Garden Tours with Frank Kershaw

Great Gardens in Our Own Backyard
Thursday, May 25, 2017, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Public $145; TBG Members $135

Toronto is blessed with many fabulous gardens and experienced garden owners. Frank has selected a number of his favourites for us to visit today, varying from the small and intimate to large estate properties. All are unique and owned by experienced gardeners who will share their insights and challenges with participants. The first garden, not far from the TBG. is an awe inspiring ravine edge garden. It artfully merges a formal garden into its spectacular ravine setting. Features include an intricate knot garden, garden sculptures and comprehensive collections of dogwoods, Japanese maples, hellebores etc. Our next garden features diverse collections of unusual dwarf conifers and flowering shrubs and hundreds of daylilies. There will also be an opportunity to buy plants at this stop. Moving to west Toronto we will stop at a garden full of interesting bold foliage, flowering Carolinian and tropical plants. This garden has many innovative water features, sculptures and botanical treasures throughout its interconnected garden rooms. Moving south in Etobicoke, we will visit a large ravine garden with an Indonesian exotic mood. Lush woodland shade plantings, unique stone work and one-of-a-kind water features will leave visitors spellbound.

Lunch today will be at the Canadiana Restaurant ready to provide a wonderful buffet lunch – be sure to bring a hearty appetite.

After lunch we will travel a short distance to two neighbouring gardens. One is a multiple-award winning garden that includes many magnolias, Japanese maples, rhododendrons and other woody and herbaceous treasures in a multi-level, multi room garden. Nearby, we will visit a large estate garden, dating back some 80 years that embodies the grace an elegance of a Guilded Age garden. Our next large garden is one of a dedicated plant lover with a garden that reveals many years of accumulating a vast collection of woody and herbaceous plants. This garden also features an attractive water garden along with various garden structures and many interesting planters.  Our final garden near St. George’s golf course represents many years of growing and collecting plants by its plant savvy owner. This garden has hundreds of different species and cultivars of hard to find plants in artistic settings. Don’t forget your camera as all of today’s gardens are eye poppers.

Our return aims to get you back to TBG for 6:30 p.m. For those coming by TTC there will be the option of drop off at Islington subway station on the way back to TBG. The tour will depart from and return to Toronto Botanical Garden. There is free all-day parking at TBG.




Stouffville, Claremont and Uxbridge Area Gardens
Thursday, July 6, 2017, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Public $140; TBG Members $130

This area has a long tradition of great gardens and artists’ studios with amazing landscaping. We will have the pleasure of experiencing both today. Our first stops will be in the scenic Stouffville where we will experience a cottage style garden brimming with all manner of plants. Colourful border perennials, ornamental shrubs and trees, clematis and ornamental grasses and period garden structures grace this lovely garden. Next, we travel to nearby Claremont to visit two outstanding gardens in this picturesque community. The first is a multiple award winning cottage style garden teeming with clematis vines, perennials, vegetables, four water features and water fall. This garden which is the domain of an experienced gardener also affords the opportunity for visitors to purchase plant or to enjoy the duck and chickens that might cross your path. Our second Claremont garden is that of a gifted artist who not only has a fabulous, lush shade and full sun gardens with beautiful settings to display her fascinating fabric garden art sculptures. These art pieces may also be purchased during the visit. Not far from Claremont is another garden of an accomplished artist. The stunning residence nestled on top of a hill overlooks acres of gardens, a large pond and tennis court. Closer to the house and studio is lovely two tier water feature and garden statuary along with an enclosed cutting garden of showy perennials. Time now for lunch which will be in nearby Uxbridge at the Tin Mill restaurant. Noted for its architectural charm and great food this stop should be to everyone’s liking.

Post lunch we get a chance to stretch our legs at a large country garden south-east of Uxbridge. This garden has been featured in various garden publications includes extensive and intensive conifer plantings, including many unusual specimens. In addition there are impressive slope and terrace plantings, lilac collection, Carolinian plant collections and diverse formal gardens near the residence. The overall impression is one of an impressive private arboretum of great plants and knowledgeable owners. Our last garden stop is another large country garden of dedicated and experienced gardeners. This garden, which is like a small botanical garden has numerous varied collections of woody and herbaceous plants. What is surprising are the many Carolinian and temperate plants that are being grown here and the techniques of the owner to ensure their success. Garden structures, sculptures, spectacular stone walls and a lovely pond round out this properties delights.

The tour will depart from and return to Toronto Botanical Garden. There is free all-day parking at TBG.


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