Newfoundland Trip

September 28th to October 1st, 2012
(contributed by Tour Coordinator, Ellen Ruddick, CLD, Price Landscaping Services, Lutes Mt, Moncton, NB, and  AALD Chair, Cora Swinnamer, Under The Arbor Landscape Design, St. Margaret’s Bay, NS)

The Atlantic Association of Landscape Designers (AALD) embarked on a tour to St. John’s, Newfoundland at the end of September. The twelve AALD members were thrilled with the wonderful hospitality of their Newfoundland members and industry associates. We were welcomed to their garden centers, landscape projects, botanical garden and homes. The warm sunshine and double-digit temperatures matched the hospitality on the Rock!

The tour started with a visit to Signal Hill to view the beautiful St. John’s Harbour at sunset.  The next morning we were on the road to tour Murray’s Garden Centre in Portugal Cove. Michael Murray,discussed his integrated approach to the landscaping industry, including construction, propagation and retail sales.  From there it was on to Spaniards Bay to visit Anthony O’Neill at O’Neill’s Gardenland. Their newly renovated retail space was extensive with a broad range of garden décor and garden themed products in addition to a huge selection of lush annuals, herbs and flowering baskets.

Jeanette French, landscape designer and AALD  met us the next morning to lead us in a tour of properties that she designed in St. John’s.  The Daffodil Place Healing Garden was of particular interest and will provide a restorative outdoor space for cancer patients during their stay at the residence.

Before finishing the day of touring we visited a Pamela Pippy’s private garden,  which contained an interesting mix of well-maintained evergreens, flowering shrubs and perennials.  A stroll through her interconnected paths highlighted with sculpture was a pleasure. Pamela has worked as a landscape designer in Newfoundland and invited us to a neighbouring property to view a sample of her design work.

After a day of walking on the hiking trails of St. John’s and Cape Spear we were treated to a reception at Liz Klose’s home followed by dinner out featuring traditional Newfoundland dining.

As Director at the MUN Botanical Garden, Liz welcomed us at the Botanical Garden for a guided tour,  joined by staff members to view the gardens, their Plant Atlantic research projects, wooded trails, Alpine collections and Crevice Garden. We finished our tour with a networking luncheon at the Garden with members of Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador.  

Hurricane Leslie had struck the area just a couple weeks before our arrival and the damage left in its wake was extensive.  The trees and shrubs in many areas were desiccated by the salt winds and many greenhouses were destroyed. Uprooted trees were evident in many of the gardens.  Clean up was well underway and we hope that the damaged plants will rebound for next season.

The AALD Rock & Stroll Tour to Newfoundland was a professionally valuable and fun event enjoyed by all. Thank you to everyone who welcomed us with true Newfoundland hospitality!

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