Open by appointment, Leatherwood Garden is an expansive permaculture home garden surrounded by gentle trails in a lush forest on the Northern Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula. Enjoy a colourful array of flowers and vegetable plants on display and for sale. Explore the moss and lichen forest trails, sit for a picnic, or gently rock on swinging chairs. Children may enjoy the cedar playground house climbers, slide and swing.
Leatherwood Garden is founded upon the principles of permaculture agriculture which is a method of building garden solutions as seamlessly as possible by optimizing interactions with the surrounding ecosystem. For example, in some wet areas we have built hügelkultur beds which are carbon capture raised beds constructed of decaying wood debris and the overturned turf from garden beds. Hügel beds improve soil fertility, retain water and provide soil warming for a longer growing season. In keeping with permaculture design principles, our hügels solve a particular situation (which was water collection in some areas). The hügelkultur beds collect that resource at peak abundance and with the absorption of water then use that moisture sustainably on drier days.
A symphony of song birds fills the air and opportunities abound for sightings of other Bruce Peninsula wildlife such as Massasauga Rattlesnakes, Leopard Frogs, Garter Snakes, Chipmunks, Red Squirrels, Hummingbirds, Woodpeckers, Robins, Chickadees, Bumblebees, Dragonflies, Painted Turtles and the not so elusive Great Grey Slug. Added to the mix are our Leatherwood Garden Hens and Leatherwood Garden Honey Bees.
We are not born with the knowledge we need to build a garden. Thanks to lessons passed onto us as children while watching and interacting with gardening adults, animated banter with other gardeners, and books written by gardeners from around the globe and over the centuries, we applied our learning in new and experimental ways. Leatherwood Gardens is delighted to continue learning with teaching and sharing this amassed wealth of knowledge with adults, youth and children alike. We are continuing to expand upon our information sites at key locations in the garden, as well as develop a library of how-to booklets about homestead gardening.
A two-hour 2.4 km guided hike into the forest interior may be arranged by appointment. The Silurian Trail hike includes rest stops and visits to rare alvars, beech and leatherwood groves, a century old fairy-tale fence, an interior lake brimming with water lilies, and deep Silurian coral crevices.
Please feel free to visit our social media pages under the name “Leatherwood Garden” at Instagram to view our photographic documents and notes of the garden as it unfolds, grows and changes over time.