We cordially invite you to join us here at Whistling Gardens, in Wilsonville, Ontario, nestled in Norfolk County just minutes south of Brantford and 20 minutes south of Hwy 403.
May 26, 2012 marked our official opening to the gardens. Since then, we have continued to expand all facets of the gardens.
We are now home to North America's largest public Peony Collection!
Our fall planting additions introduce a total assortment of over 1,000+ varieties just in time to mark Canada's 150th Anniversary!
The Conifer Collection now surpasses 2,300 different species, hybrids and cultivars. This collection is the largest in North America on public display. Many specimens in the collection are the only ones in the country, and also features one of the rarest plants in the world – Baishan Fir (Abies beshanzuensis). Only 3 wild specimens remain!!
Gardens & Garden Centre 2018 Opening and Closing Dates
Spring Garden Centre Opening Date: April 28th 2018
Spring Botanical Gardens Opening Date: May 1st 2018
Fall Closing Date: Saturday, October 8th at 4pm
(Afterwards Open By Appointment, contact email@example.com)
First Fountain Show Performance For The Season: Saturday, May 19th 2018
Last Fountain Show Performance For The Season: Saturday, September 30th 2018
Did We Say? Birthdays, Anniversaries, Christmas
or Just Because You’re A Nature Lover Too…
2018 SEASON MEMBERSHIPS, GARDEN DAY PASSES
& GARDEN CENTRE GIFT CERTIFICATES! - NOW AVAILABLE!
Garden centre and botanical gardens gift certificates make a unique gift. Season Memberships offer a savings for visitors wishing to visit throughout the season while saving 10% on their garden centre purchases year-round.
2018 & 2019 GROUP GARDEN TOURS & CONFERENCE VISITS - NOW BOOKING!
2018 & 2019 EVENT GUEST, PANELIST & KEYNOTE SPEAKER - NOW BOOKING!
2018 & 2019 GARDEN "Bliss" WEDDINGS & CELEBRATIONS - NOW RESERVING!
Spring... May thru mid June...
Celebrate the spring blooms with incredible displays of Peonies and Iris. Magnolia, Red Bud and many other flowering trees add to the magical renewal!
Summer - July, Mid August... 1,000's of summer blooms reveal their beauty, with Red Hot Poker, Foxtail Lily, Blanket Flower, Echinacea, Aruncus, Lilies and Day Lilies.
Fall... Enjoy the changing of the season when annuals are at their peak, Fall perennials Echinacea, Black Eyed Susan, Aster Blanket Flower, Ornamental Grasses plus much more!
Photo Credit: Darlene Hewson, 2017 Whistling Gardens Peony Photo Contest Winner
Visit our National Award Winning, Internationally acclaimed and one of Canada's only privately run Botanical Gardens and see why Whistling Gardens was recently voted as one of Canada’s Best Botanical Gardens. Explore nearly 20 acres where you can view over 4,000 different plants.
~ Be sure to visit during Peony Season (approx. May15th to June 30th). Over 1,000 varieties of peonies are now on display. It is the largest public collection in North America. Our conifer collection continues to attract visitors from around the world to see the 2,500 species, varieties and cultivars throughout the grounds.
~ The fountain display begins Saturday May 20th and will feature 102 fountains choreographed to new music, composed by the owner of Whistling Gardens.
~ As we are about to start our 6th season, like most gardens, they continue to evolve. The transformation of a former corn field to what they are today is an ongoing project with many new features, gardens and plant collections continually being added.
Our catalogue of woody plants is posted online and features many new, rare varieties of trees and conifers.
With so much to see and explore, we hope you can join us for an afternoon or even make a day of it. Whether you're looking for that special plant, want to see our fountains choreographed to music or just planning a day trip adventure to relax in a quiet atmosphere near a waterfall or our new two-acre pond, Whistling Gardens will create memorable experiences and cater to the senses.
Our Garden Centre continues to offer the largest selection of conifers in the country and unusual woody treasures. For several years already, Whistling Gardens has attracted collectors and gardeners across several provinces and the US. We are proud that we have been referred as the "go to" garden centre for new and unique plants.
Check Back Regularly - NEW 2018 UPDATES & ANNOUNCEMENTS EACH MONTH!
|Almost 20 acres have been cultivated and sculpted into 6 major gardens and collections. All the gardens have been seamlessly connected with wheelchair accessible walking paths. Whistling Gardens is home to the largest public collection of conifers in the world with over 2,300 species, hybrids and cultivars on site.
||Click thumbnail to download our
Gardens Site Map
A Message from the Founder
Since our Grand Opening in 2012, our dedicated team of volunteers and hardy seasonal staff continue to encounter inspirational moments that fuel our desire to expand and plant in perpetuity. Thank you for recognizing the value of our work and merits of the collections and gardens which continue to expand. Your genuine exchanges of encouragement are truly heartfelt as we share our private story of transforming our "corn field into a botanical garden".
Our privately owned gardens have come a long way in such a short time. This past October marked the 10th anniversary of the initial planting of the Conifer Garden. Looking back, its humble beginning hosted about 50 specimens which were planted in October 2007. This garden is currently undergoing a major renovation. We have been digging and transplanting many plants, moving them to their new permanent locations within the botanical gardens. Our redesign will reveal pockets to house our Itoh peony collection. Solid beds of colour are planned. Some peonies were transplanted this past fall and I suspect planting will continue for a couple years. We estimate approximately 400-500 Itoh Peonies will be showcased in the Conifer Garden when completed.
The new arbor located in the formal Peony Garden offers additional shade seating to take in the breathtaking views. This garden now features over 400 new peonies, planted last fall throughout December. Last year brought us our first seeds from our Open Pollinated Program in partnership with the Canadian Peony Society. Although some visitors do not like to see the seed heads on the plants, we are dedicated to collecting seeds of certain selected varieties for future conservation and development of Canadian Peonies. Donors David Maltby and Blossom Hills', Joe and Hazel Cook continue to send new varieties each season. Likewise, we also offer propagation material particularly of our conifer collection for sale and to other gardens and arboretums, to help ensure these extremely rare varieties do not disappear from cultivation.
Our garden centre and polyhouse is set to expand this season, along with our entrance redesigned. New bench seating continues to be added throughout the botanical gardens due to the generosity of so many Garden Legacy Donors. The gardens reflect our life’s work. As caretakers, dedicated to sacrifices and reinvesting to fulfill our botanical vision, we remain absolutely appreciative to all of our garden friends for your kindness and sincerity.
Why do we plant? We plant for the three centenarians who visited us last season, the eldest 104 years and going strong who spent the entire day strolling the entire gardens, leaving rejuvenated. We plant for our visiting fellow gardeners from the local and international garden community including many celebrity garden writers, garden clubs, societies, horticulturalists and curators of collections from other botanical gardens and arboretums. We plant with purpose, conservation and propagation never looked so good.
Finally, our 2017 season captured significant goodwill and prestigious merits by way of several garden awards & recognitions in which we are so busy doing the work, we really didn’t see this coming! 2017 Best Gardening Event of The Year "Whistling Gardens Peony Festival" Toronto Star, Sonia Day National Canadian Garden Columnist, 2017 Canada 150 for 150 Awards Federal Medal Recipient - MP Diane Finley, 2017 Recognized as 1 of 20 Canadians Shaping Our Future Gardens - Garden Making Magazine, 2017 Canada 150 Garden Experience Designation - North American Garden Tourism Conference, Canadian Garden Council in collaboration with the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association. Thank you to so many supporters nominating us!
What to expect? So many visitors assume this garden already existed, or perhaps they were passed down or inherited prior to "our arrival". Guests should feel as if we are inviting them to experience our own private back yard garden. Yes, it’s unique, we are one of the very few privately run botanical gardens and do not receive any municipal, provincial or federal funding of any kind. The value of our plant collections, although still young, match or in some cases exceed some of the largest most well respected botanical gardens.
2018 remains an optimistic time for our little rural garden as we plan, dream, plant and grow while making new garden friends each day!
Yours in Gardening
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