Escape to a better place
AGENTLE breeze stirs the white curtains that drape the sides of Iris Kennedy’s gazebo, setting the stage for her lovely garden on the banks of the Assiniboine River in Charleswood.
Pots and pots of flowers, tumbling over themselves in good health, surround a swimming pool graced by a waterfall. This is just the beginning of the garden, which ends on the riverbank where shady grottoes reflect the whimsical side of Iris.
A few miles away, in River Heights, the gracious period home of Jack and Elaine Sine crowns a garden of stunning colour in a formal setting.
Jack, a former bank vice-president, was one of the founders of the Prairie Dog Central, and his basement houses a tribute to all things railroad. The house itself has been in the news from time to time, including the romantic story of an English girl billeted here during the Second World War.
Further north, the tiny home of “Mr. Tomato”, a well-known Winnipeg gardener and inventor of Kosy-Koats, is nestled under giant spruce and smothered in vines, all backdrop to a jewel-box garden that is a miniature paradise. In spite of its diminutive size, the garden features crops of berries, a pond, shady seating areas and sunny meadows, and of course, many tomatoes.
These are just three of the 12 stunning gardens that will be on display during the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s second annual garden tour to be held on Saturday, June 26. Music in the garden, provided by Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra musicians, is the highlight on the Gardens and Music gala evening being hosted by the WSO next Wednesday evening. Three gorgeous, park-like gardens have been chosen for this event, which will feature food and wine and the beauty of a midsummer’s eve to accompany the music.
Committee chair of both events, Arlene Dahl, cellist with the WSO, says this year’s tour will hold many delightful surprises for its guests.
“The garden and music evening will be a magical experience,” she said. “The self-guided tour on Saturday will be something to remember. These are among Winnipeg’s outstanding gardens. They come in all sizes, shapes and styles.
“The gardeners are so generous with their knowledge. Not only do you get to see a whole lot of fantastic gardens, but you also learn as you go. It really helps to see plants that you’ve heard about actually growing.”
Buses for Wednesday’s garden gala will leave Assiniboine Park at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased at the WSO box office at 949-3999.
Guests for the Saturday garden tour are being bused to the locations from the Conservatory parking lot at Assiniboine Park. Tickets for the self-guided tour are $30, available at the WSO box office or from selected garden centres.
The formal garden of Jack and Elaine Sine.
Iris Kennedy’s gazebo is the centrepiece of her stunning garden.