Skip to Content

About The Founder, Donna Dawson

Donna Profile Picture

In 1995, Donna achieved her master gardener certificate through the University of Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden.

She was a Director in her Region VII (Canada) of the Garden Writers Association, Affiliate Member Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors and member North American Travel Journalists Association.

Donna’s garden in St. Albert , Alberta , Canada , won many awards over the years including Best Cold Climate Garden in Canada from Canadian Gardening Magazine and has been featured both in articles as well as the cover of Gardens West Magazine and Canadian Gardening Magazine.

Begun in 1996 by Donna to provide Canadian gardeners with information specific to northern gardening that was not being addressed by any other site, grew to become Canada’s largest Internet gardening resource site reaching over 200 countries and several million unique visitors all of whom were looking for a gardening site to learn and grow. brought together gardeners from all over the world, to share their trials and successes as well as learn from the thousands and thousands of garden articles by writers from all over the world. The site received huge acclaim when the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation chose to interview and showcase ICanGarden as a Canadian alternative to the US Time Warner site.

As the original owner/publisher of the Internet Web site, , Donna Dawson received many awards and has been recognized in numerous publications. Canadian Website of the Year 2014 was a special award from Michel Gautier, Executive Director of the Canadian Garden Council

Because of her role supporting and promoting Communities in Bloom, Donna was chosen as a keynote speaker to hundreds of guests from all over the world in Kelowna BC

Donna has been featured in numerous gardening magazines including Homemaker’s, Gardener for the Prairies, Gardens West, Canadian Gardening, Lifestyles +55, Alberta Gardener and Gardening Life, as well as local newspapers and Internet sites such as Calgary Herald, and Calgary Sun. She has also had the opportunity to provide photographs to European Homes & Gardens, BCAA and Doctor’s Review.

Donna was the only outside writer for Tai Pan Travel magazine featuring gardens and plants from around the world and was also a writer for Vivir Bien, a lifestyle magazine out of the Republic of Panama where she talked about plants in tropical areas as well as the Visitor, a weekly periodical for both the expat community as well as locals as it is published in Spanish and English. She now resides in the Republic of Panama as her permanent home.

Donna has appeared on Canada AM, HGTV’s Indoor Gardener and Calling All Gardeners. She and her husband were one of the few chosen to do an hour TV special called “the Garden Tourist” on Recreating Eden and while in China on tour, she was a special guest on China TV. She has also been a featured guest speaker at numerous Canadian gardening events including Canada Blooms and Victoria’s Art in Bloom.

Tom Dawson, her husband, played a huge part in helping launch because he is the one who learned the coding language to put it up on the internet and make it happen! …Back then, there was little on gardening in Canada and much less on how to properly execute anything for the internet.

In 1998 Donna began organizing and hosting gardening tours, which she still does today. Her custom designed garden tours, change yearly due to repeat guests. The tours have become well known for bringing gardeners together to share in the joy of seeing how others garden and to go home with both great memories and new found friends. She has also worked with Tourism agencies helping and hosting tours to their countries. She is currently a member of the International Travel Writers Alliance.

Her tours can be seen at which she still maintains after retiring from in October 2022.