Es­cape to a bet­ter place

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES -

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.

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