Summer Garden Tours 2019

From our President – Kirk Lawrence:

The Club’s summer schedule includes the second annual picnic lunch/garden party.  Last year’s event in Susan and Chick Hill’s garden was such a hit that we have decided to make it an annual gathering.  This year’s hosts are Jenny and Leslie Jonas.  You won’t want to miss seeing their lovely property.  It is truly a gem.

Watch for a bonus “pop up” visit to see Debbi Eaman’s peony garden.  Date to follow.

Thank you to all our members who so kindly invite us into their gardens.  Aren’t we lucky!

Saturday, June 15. 

Handmade Hypertufa Troughs & Containers  10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Members are invited to visit Robert Leclerc’s workshop located at: 48 rue Principale N., Sutton.

431 Mudgett Road, Sutton. 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

This garden is a “Must See”…….originally designed and planted by Evelyn Lambart, a well known animator with the National Film Board of Canada, and now, added to, edited and lovingly cared for by present owners, Barbara and Mark Babinski.  Beautiful waves of layered bulbs and perennials flow down a spectacular rock ledge base…..a pond with a very interesting stone lined brook leading to it, a wonderful old climbing hydrangea on the house, and hellebores…..are just a few of the  points of interest!

Saturday, July 6. 12:00 – 2:00 pm.

Annual Brome Lake Garden Club Picnic

Our hosts, Jennifer and Leslie, welcome us to their beautiful property, situated high above Knowlton with a superb view of Lac Brome.   We are invited to enjoy their lovely gardens, ponds and stream and stroll along the path in the woods.  A short distance from the house you will be able to look into the Studio House where the original ‘Woodswalk’ was created by local children on their weekly visits during the summer.   Then came Laura Teasdale’s play ‘Woodswalker’ which was inspired in part, by these magical woods. The ‘Woodswalk’ tradition continues with family and friends who create artwork that you will see marking the path through the woods.

This is a catered lunch, with all food and non-alcoholic beverages provided. Just bring yourselves, a nice hat, maybe a folding chair, and your own beer or wine.

Since space is limited to 60 people, members in good standing are asked to email or telephone Susan Hill ASAP. (450) 266-0918.

Note: Update as of 20190601 all spaces filled.

Saturday, July 20.  10:00 am – 4:00 pm

We will visit three unique properties.  Two in Knowlton and one in the Sutton area.

1.  176, Lakeside, Knowlton, J0E 1V0

Carole Lemoine: Le domaine du Roc Fleuri

The « Roc Fleuri » estate is surrounded by majestic cedars and Colorado spruce. It is enclosed behind by Maple trees that render a genuine touch of cosiness to the property.

At the front, a rock garden slopes towards a brook which flows down to a water-lily pond surrounded by iris, shrubs and a lovely variety of perennials. While strolling through the gardens, one does not fail to admire the rose bushes en masse and a late blooming hydrangea hedge intertwined with daylilies and echinacea.

At the rear of the property, the gardens in bloom were designed as an extension of the house and offer an explosion of colour beautiful in all seasons.

2.  15 Ch Sugar Hill, Knowlton, J0E 1V0
Roger & Annie Schank: Frogsong

Welcome! Our 10-acre property, propped up on Sugar Hill just above the town of Knowlton, is affectionately nicknamed Frogsong.  Although it’s kind of pretentious to name a property, the name just seemed to fit!  When Roger and I took possession of our home in the spring, about 6 years ago, we noticed the brisk air at night carried the fabulous sound of a pond full of frogs calling so loudly you would think a city full of car alarms were going off.  Oddly enough a welcoming sound to my husband, a New Yorker, and myself being originally from the Eastern Townships, that paired with a lifelong frog collection, it seemed the perfect nickname.
An old cedar rail fence lines a near kilometer long winding dirt drive that takes you up to the house 
built in 2000 with a breathtaking view of Brome Lake. The home itself is circled by large natural stone with blooming thyme in between and hanging container gardens of petunias, begonias and pansies.  There is a one acre naturally fed ridge rock pond, landscaped completely around with both natural and planted species which rotate blooming with unbelievable colour all spring, summer and fall.
Behind the bocce the court is an ivy-covered fenced area with my laying hens and their coop, made mostly from reclaimed materials from the former owner’s workshop and area antiques. The reclaimed antique windows are done in stained glass of my own, I’ve been a glass artist for over 15 years.  Within the same space, is a raised bed yielding raspberries and numerous vegetables. 

Leaving the fenced area, you’ll find the glass greenhouse where more vegetables, fruits and flowers are grown.  Scattered throughout the acreage one can also gather chanterelles, berries, apples from 2 orchards and hopefully soon morels from a mound outback I planted behind the guesthouse/garage.

A path will take you on a journey by the hot tub, cedar barrel sauna and all the way around on the far side, a beach.  You cross over water in many places which naturally sheds from the top of Sugar Hill, eventually feeding the pond and allows for a cool dip or swim to exit on the other side.  The four to five-acre forest picks up also behind the pond where species of all sorts include willows, maples, grasses, flowers,    a lavender garden, poppies and waterlilies bloom at its edge. 

Behind the house, with that breathtaking view of Brome Lake, you’ll find a fire pit patio, two waterfalls and 4 other ponds, all constructed of carefully placed stonework. Blue spruce, maple and birch trees can be found everywhere amongst perennials, annuals, and two of my favorites, lily of the valley and iris.

3.  700 Hillcrest, Abercorn, J0E 1B0
Nancy McCullough and Stuart MacLeod

Nancy and Stuart acquired this property in 1999 and have been living here about six months of the year for the last five years. Covering 60 acres, it is more than 50% wooded and also includes 3 fields, a stream, 4 large and 2 ornamental ponds. The original pond system was created beginning in 1965 by a previous owner for the purpose of raising rainbow trout. The house began life 200 years ago as a barn that was moved in the 1950s from Lac Selby. The structure was redesigned and modernized by Normand Goulet in 2000-2002.

A number of garden beds have been established since that time and overall landscape development continues as a work in progress. A central theme has been the incorporation of stone structures and concerted effort has gone into the creation of walls, menhirs, and bridges by Michael Jennings and later Corey Smith. One of the original ponds has become a sunken garden featuring water lilies, peonies and a grotto. We have also planted numerous trees and shrubs as part of an effort to explore what will survive in our climate zone.

Saturday, August 17.  10:00 am – 4:00 pm

This tour takes us from a charming village garden to two amazing country retreats, one in the Glen, the other deep in the hills of East Bolton.

1. 148 rue Victoria, Knowlton, J0E 1V0
Robin Sewell

In 2003 I planted a garden. From then on, I have widened, transplanted and mulched so that it survives the shade trees, pests and deer. But, those are the challenges and joys of having a garden that is much too large for me to handle. In spring it is filled with Forget-me-nots and wild Phlox, truly the best time of year. Rugosa and Explorer roses enjoy some years better than others. I have a rhubarb, an asparagus plant, blueberries and black currants. I also plant garlic in fall. After 5 years I have outsmarted the deer by putting a black netting around the yard. It works, and it allows me to have all my favourite lilies and hostas that the deer so love to munch on.
Welcome to my garden.

2.  33 ch. Paramount, Bolton-Ouest, J0E 2T0

April Riddell

The garden comes to lie in spring with flowering Amelanchiers, various apples, pears, narcissus and tulips. June fills the air with the scent of roses, and patient anticipation of peonies.

The front border fondly named Mango and Raspberries peaks at the end of July with oriental lilies. Take two steps down to the herb parterre filled with culinary herbs and Nepeta for Tiger Lily’s delight. This has been extended into a potager where work is on-going. Pears have been planted beyond the potager; more are planned as the space is cleared.

As a child I was fortunate to have woods to explore. It was filled with wild flowers, and in May covered in a carpet of white trilliums. I am happy to have oxeye daisies, black-eyed Susans with wild Phlox, evening primrose and Mullen which seem to find their home here and there. Patches of milkweed, New England asters and native clethra remain to feed the pollinators and butterflies.

That is the garden description; how it all came about is a story in itself.

3.  83 ch East River, Bolton-Est, J0E 1G0
Gabrielle & Wakeham Pilot: AMIK” Created by Beavers

“AMIK” was Montreal’s Olympic logo meaning “BEAVER” in Inuit.

One autumn weekend we, my brother Lawrence, husband Wakeham, and I climbed a mountain, one vertical mile up, twisting & turning through thick forest. When we arrived at the top, we were faced with a swamp full of dead trees: we felt thoroughly discouraged, enough to turn back down the mountain. Suddenly, the woods opened up…a LAKE surrounded by beautiful lovely autumn plants and mushrooms! We ended up buying up many acres of the surrounding land, and for two years, every weekend we cut down dead trees burning them in massive 20-foot pyres, clearing the land. We built a log house ourselves, a tennis court and vegetable garden.

Possible tours to take:

from the balcony two choices:

  1. Front door, down the driveway, past the vegetable garden, with the swans on the left (sadly, turtles eat the babies each spring) and the “new forest” of spring azaleas & rhododendrons on the right. Pass through the grape arbours & field of special trees (notice the chicken-wire wrapped around their trunks against beaver consumption): 

view the valley beyond. Continue on to what was the Beaver Dam on the right and the new Waterfall #2 on the left. Choice: take the boat across the lake or continue around the lake to the gazebo.

  1. From the balcony and the little pool, turn left, down to the Oriental garden & Waterfall #1. Turn right: either take the zip Line across the lake (a lot of fun and if you dare!) or walk on to the beach and take the bridge across to the gazebo.   Then up the pathway, around the lake.    Or take the boat trip across to the Waterfall #2, turn left through the field of special trees & grape arbour, new forest of Azaleas & Rhododendrons, up the hill, past the Vegetable garden to the house.

We will provide nibbles to eat at each pause to help continue on the journey.

Saturday, September 7.  11:00 am

Annual General Meeting.

Kirk and Walter: 108 Mont-Echo Road, Knowlton.  Bring a platter of finger food to share (no salads please) and join us. If you haven’t done so already, this would be a good opportunity to renew your membership.  Our Club needs your support.  Don’t forget to show your current membership card when shopping in garden centers in our area in order to obtain your discounts.  For full details, look for our partners on our website.