Gardens & Greenhouses
In season, salads, vegetables and fruit served in our dining room come from our gardens and greenhouse.
During your stay, please feel free to walk around and enjoy the gardens and greenhouse.
Wild and Windblown: Nature’s Gardens
The following is an excerpt of an article on globeandmail.com, written by Barbara Ramsay Orr.
Barbara Ramsay Orr picks six of the best places to visit Mother Nature’s handiwork.
Just as modern tastes are calling for wild blueberries, wild salmon and free-range chicken, the taste in gardens is leaning towards the wild as well, for many of the same reasons. First, there is only one force at work. These gardens are Mother Nature’s handiwork, and no one else has muddled with the design or the input. Everything is naturally occurring and self-sustaining and raised without the intervention of cultivation or chemicals. Most of these gardens are remote pockets of idyllic peace, virtually untouched by man and far removed from noise, pollution and traffic. Plants and trees are indigenous, many of them having survived and thrived for centuries. These gardens are a promise of continuity and regeneration.
There’s no denying the beauty of the cultivated garden, and some of the world’s most satisfying visual delights can be found, for example, in the graceful contours of the Palace Het Loo gardens in Holland or Sissinghurst in England. But the wild garden is a different kind of experience, one lacking in artifice but brimming with untrimmed energy.
Here are six of the world’s best places to visit Mother Nature’s wild gardens, from those that promise the bounty of spring lupines to those that offer the almost hidden delights of Arctic orchids:
Skerwink Trail – Newfoundland
Selected as one of the best hiking trails in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine, the Skerwink is the perfect meeting of land and sea. Craggy cliffs tower over a sinuous coastline that curves through this Canadian eco-zone called the Boreal Shield, and the views out to sea are vast. There’s nothing between you and Ireland but many kilometres of water. Plant life along the 5.3-kilometre trail varies widely as the terrain moves from the scrappy lichen and tenuous bushes that cling to the cliff edge to boreal forest and undisturbed wetlands. There are no barriers between you and the cliff face.Walking farther inland is less treacherous, if occasionally muddy. The rewards, though, are abundant. Peggy Fisher, who with her husband John runs The Fishers’ Loft Inn near the entrance to the trail, walks the Skerwink almost daily. “One of my favourite times of the year is June when parts of the trail are covered in white flowers — labrador tea, star flowers, bunch berry, woodland violets and bakeapple. At the same time lady slippers are in bloom; rhodora and sheep laurel a little earlier.” On the forest floor and along the edges of ponds can be found bog rosemary, high bush cranberry, baneberry and wild sarsaparilla.
You can enter the Skerwink from Port Rexton, about a 250-kilometre drive from St. John’s. The trail can be hiked in two hours, but most find that to really absorb the beauty, and to enjoy a picnic, four to five hours is better. Fishers’ Loft: 1-877-464-3240; https://www.fishersloft.com. For more information about the Skerwink Trail, visit thediscoverytrail.org.
Nature & Nurture
As appeared in Canadian Gardening magazine in early summer 2011. Text by Suzanne Moutis, with photography by Donna Griffith.
On the windswept coast of Newfoundland, a clever, contemporary Zone 3 garden feels right at home in its magical surroundings.
Many of us contemplate a hotel stay in terms of breakfast in bed and lounging around the pool. Few of us imagine it in terms of thinking that you’ve never been anywhere quite as special, or felt quite as much at home.
That feeling, however, is exactly what you get when your feet are planted on the ancient soil of the kitchen garden at Fishers’ Loft Inn in Port Rexton, Newfoundland, a three-hour drive north of St. John’s. For John and Peggy Fisher, who own and run the inn with their sons Luke and Gabe, the garden that supplies the kitchen is a necessary element and a natural extension of the space they’ve cultivated since 1997. This fertile patch is also a highlight for visitors, who are encouraged to linger. Inspired by a visit to the kitchen gardens at the Fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton, the garden was started about 10 years ago and has since doubled in size. “The French make so much more of the rituals of harvesting, food preparation and dining,” says John. “They celebrate every part of the process, and we learned from them.”
Gardening in Newfoundland is not without its challenges, but the rewards at Fishers’ Loft are rich. Paths meander among curved beds filled with lettuce, garlic, strawberries, beets and other essentials that grace the dishes of the hotel’s restaurant each day, while tender tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and basil reside in the greenhouse built in 2009. The garden thrives thanks to the careful handling of Gabe, who oversees it, much to the benefit of the guests of the inn, who dine on fresh, simple fare like partridgeberry French toast, carrot soup and locally sourced fish. It’s an elemental way of life, but one that remains vital to putting down roots on the Rock.