This classic Ontario farmhouse dates from 1875. The back is the original log cabin. Unlike most places, the brick house was added onto this; probably to save money. Usually the cabin would be converted to a pig barn or some other use. This would not have been a prosperous farm as attested to by the extensive and impressive stone fences. The land is largely gravel and limestone with pockets of clay and a scant covering of soil.
When we bought the farm in 1972, there was little being cultivated; no lawn, no garden, just an aging orchard, rhubarb, currants and a single lilac. We began by planting 10 000 white pine to the north and erecting rail fencing around the house to keep the livstock from peering in the windows. Over the years many repairs and restorations have been done to the out-buildings and house while trying to preserve its original charm.
Our first garden was the vegetable garden (being the most important — to provide food for a growing family). Using a pick-axe, shovel, mulch and a lot of sweat we started building gardens. Many years later, we’re still building gardens!
A lot of plants have been trialled over the years. Daylilies and hosta remain favourites for their hardiness and ability to thrive under challenging conditions. Other favourites include astrantia, cimicifuga, helleborus and echinacea. Our deep and consistent snowfall allows us to grow plants beyond our zone 5 rating.
Our sheltered location provides a perfect habitat for diverse species of birds and butterflies. Also be on the look out for tree frogs, toads, squirrels, chipmunks and other wildlife who call this home. Feel free to ask questions and take photos, or sit and listen to the birds. Enjoy your visit!