Near the end of September, we were able to spend nearly a week out of the city. We travelled to Haliburton county, northeast of Toronto. There, on the eve of days of rain that we joked was positvely Biblical in intensity, we visited Abbey Gardens. It’s a place we had been to before for great food and walks through beautiful sustainable gardens of flowers and vegetables. When there, I had a feeling of the goodness of the place.
We wandered around part of the grounds to a dense sunflower maze we had seen in development a few weeks earlier on a brief trip out of Toronto. We saw a few late crops of brussel sprouts and kale or collards, I believe, plus cosmos, zinnias and nasturtium flowers.
I hadn’t known the story of Abbey Gardens other than its being a great place to stop in for food and a walk through sustainable gardens. I also knew they had some endangered Ojibwe horses on the grounds and activities for children as well as adults.
So, back in Toronto last week, I went to their site and learned that the gardens had been founded in 2009 by John Patterson, a retired businessman. He had visited the Eden Project in the UK and been inspired to do something positive in Ontario. Abbey Gardens was built on the site of a spent gravel pit. The gardens are a registered charity dedicated to teach visitors to live more sustainably.