Eight inspiring historical gardens across Canada

Many think of Canada as a land of big-sky landscapes—huge forests, deep oceans and towering mountains. However, it’s also a country where gardeners have long had the urge to tame the wilderness with climbing roses and flowering fruit trees, herbaceous borders and manicured shrubs.

Creating gardens here can be an adventure. Icy winters, humid summers, rocky soil, stiff sea breezes and intricate tree roots all pose challenges. And in the days before Internet shopping and air freight, just obtaining the plants, seeds and tools you needed when you lived hundreds of kilometres from the nearest city could be tricky.

That didn’t stop intrepid garden lovers, however. Whether they dug vegetable gardens to feed their families, hired local labourers to build stone walls and pretty gazebos, or contracted one of the world’s foremost landscape architects to design a formal garden for their waterfront mansion, they were determined to put their own mark on the land. Luckily for us, some of their handiwork has been preserved and restored for us to enjoy today.

Here are eight inspiring historic places where you can learn about Canada’s long horticultural history.

Places

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British Columbia to Wallace, Nova Scotia

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