GWA Durham Garden Tour/Meeting
June 24-26, 2005



Sunday was equally busy but the tone was a bit different in that we visited a variety of places. We enjoyed breakfast sponsored by the Township of Scugog at Scugog Shores Historical Museum Village and Archives. The Museum is located on beautiful Scugog Island, overlooking Port Perry. The mission of the Museum is to preserve, research, interpret and exhibit artifacts that illustrate the cultural and natural history of the area. The grounds include 11 restored buildings in the Historic Village and the Ojibway Heritage Interpretive Lands First Nations exhibit area. There is also a museum herb garden with historical uses of herbs. A very interesting visit including our breakfast in the church!

On our way to Mason Hogue Gardens we made a quick stop at Redman's Crossroads Gift Store - they were excited to have us visit and even had us listed on their sign outside. They had arranged some candy making where some of the group really got into the chocolate and after many of us bought gifts to take home we were off. Thanks to John Redman!

Marjorie was there to greet us and show us around her beautiful gardens and garden goes without saying that yet more plants were bought while here. Marjorie has geared back and does not ship anymore, nor does she have a catalogue, so you must make time to visit while in the area because the planting material is great!

Fiskars sponsored lunch for us at Ocala Winery, owned by the Smith family since 1915.and what a nice place to have it. Our lunch was very special in that it was the first time local chefs had gotten together and designed a menu using local farm fresh products. Ocala Winery served wines with each of the courses ... do I need to tell you that we had a lot of fun while there even before Fiskars had special gifts of tools for us? Durham Farm Fresh Members served our lunch perfectly I might add. The chefs that participated in this were Chef Todd from Pepperberrie Bistro, Chef Zinn from Zinn's Bistro, Chef Lepine from Don on Main and Chef Alberigo from Nice Bistro. David from Goodwood Gardens enhanced our lunch with flowers and herbs.

Then it was off to Port Perry for some free time for shopping! The Settlement House gave each one of us a 20.00 gift certificate to spend so it was not surprising that everyone came back with their bags full of goodies. It's a beautiful area of Ontario filled with Victorian architecture and I urge you to make time to see it..the street that we walked down towards the waterfront was full of shops. As we were coming back to meet the bus, one of the window boxes on a store front was tossed by some person who did not appreciate flowers. Wendy is shown watering the poor little plants in after she put them all back into the box ... hopefully they survived the weekend until the store opened up again on Monday.

Our last visit was to Brookside Cottage Bed and Breakfast, a wonderful little b and b owned by the lady who toured us around the Tyrone Church garden. If you are ever in this area and need a room, check out the pictures and then call's in a beautiful quiet setting plus she has a studio onsite where she makes the most wonderful toadstools and birdbaths in concrete.

Valleybrook gave us some special treats as well. I took home the Campanula 'Royal Wave' a compact plant for my rock garden, and Echinacea Big Sky 'Sunrise' a beautiful soft creamy yellow. There were others as well, but I was a bit limited for space on a plane!

Again, a very special thank you to Veronica for pulling this all together. I would also like to thank Andrea Monaghan and Jan Seppala from Durham Region, Economic Development & Tourism Department for the outstanding job they did keeping us on schedule, giving us background on where we were and what was important about each area. We were in such good hands! I know how much work is involved in organization but I think we all learned so much from this visit, as we do from all the GWA events we take in .. and that is the whole reason for going on them. We got so many little gifts as well - all usable in our own gardens. A special thank you to both of our hotels for putting us up and for putting up with us ... a very memorable weekend!

Now, our next meeting will be the Annual Symposium in Vancouver, BC. I hope to see you there!





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