Top 7 gardens to visit

Garden walkway
One of the many beautiful paths at Spindletree gardens

For some people, the thought of spending time in a garden would be a yawnfest.

Even if you don’t like gardening, spending time in a garden can be cathartic. I’ve always found gardens to be peaceful, inspirational places where the wonders and beauty of nature unfold and transform from season to season.

I’ve been lucky enough to visit two spectacular gardens this year: numbers 1 and 7 on the list. For those of you in Eastern Ontario, I’d highly recommend you visit Spindletree Gardens in Tamworth—it is truly a treasure in our own backyard and one of my all-time favourite gardens. They also serve a great lunch.

Here is my top list of favourite gardens to visit and spend time in:

  1. Longwood Gardens, in Pennsylvania: we visited this garden in July. I loved the fountain show and the conservatory, which had one of the largest pipe organs I’ve ever seen
  2. Larkwhistle, the home of garden authors Patrick Lima and John Scanlan’s on the Bruce Peninsula—simply stunning but you may be too late—when we visited it last summer we heard it may be the last season they open to the public
  3. The Rideau canal in Ottawa in May during the Canadian tulip festival
  4. The gardens at Chatsworth Hall, in Bakewell, England: 105 acres of formal traditional gardens and where they filmed my favourite version of Pride and Prejudice
  5. Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens—beautiful in the spring when the cherry and apple trees are in full bloom
  6. The garden atrium and conversatory at the Opryland hotel in Nashville–nine acres of inside oasis
  7. Spindletree gardens and tea room in Tamworth: a gem in our own backyard

This week’s #HappyAct is to spend time in a garden. Find a quiet bench to sit on then look around you. You never know what you may find and where your thoughts will take you.

Flowers in a conservatory
The conservatory at Longwood
Flowers in bloom
My garden

Pay homage to the king

IMG_0743On July 5, 1954, Elvis Presley walked into Sun Studio in Memphis and recorded “That’s All Right” with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black.

If I close my eyes, I can imagine the recording session. The sound of mike stands and music stands scraping across the studio floor, voices echoing in the air, the twang of guitars practicing riffs, then a quick 1-2-3-4 and the sweet sounds of rock ‘n roll filling up the non-descript studio.

It’s been 60 years since Elvis rocked the music world, launched an entire new musical genre and forever changed the face of rock ‘n roll. He will forever be the King.

This week’s #HappyAct is to pay homage to the king. Watch an Elvis movie (my favourite is Blue Hawaii) or listen to some of his classics. The last time I was in Nashville, I bought a four CD disc of his gospel songs at Ernest Tubbs record shop on Broadway. (Elvis often warmed up in the studio by singing a gospel song before a recording sessions). Graceland has planned many special events this summer to commemorate 60 years of rock ‘n roll. Why not plan a visit. Leave a comment. What’s your favourite Elvis tune or movie?

Blog author in Sun Studio

Sun Studios in Memphis
Sun Studio in Memphis