People passionate about nature

Gardens of Distinction 2024 Preview

More Gardens to Explore This Year!


1. Jan and Jerry’s Garden  

Individual front landscaping efforts by two neighbours creates a striking effect from the street. Eye-catching containers and a terraced natural limestone planting area invite you into our yard. The open backyard between neighbours plus a National Historic Site at the rear provide long views. Jerry has built custom privacy screens and an obelisk.

The challenge of our property was to create an inviting outdoor living area in our shallow but wide north facing backyard. This lot slopes down four feet across the width, giving us the opportunity to have a natural multilevel water feature and a two-level patio. Look for several pieces of artwork tucked in the greenery. Hostas, including many miniatures and heuchera with contrasting foliage growing near the house.

Our small vegetable garden uses vertical gardening techniques in raised beds and the sloping yard allows for a terraced herb area. We invite you to explore beyond the garden shed to find a secret shady spot to relax. Welcome to our garden.

2. St. Boniface Heritage Garden

In Winnipeg's heart, explore the grounds of Archbishop's residence that pay homeage to those who played an important role in the development of the St. Boniface Mission, including the significant role that the Metis Nation has played in Manitoba's history. Monuments, interpretive panels, and benches weave a tapestry of homage, inviting reflection on their profound contributions to the community.

3. Sandra’s Garden

Our garden is a labour of love and ever changing over 15 years. You will find an assortment of prairie native species and flowering plants like phlox, echinacea, lavender, and daisies. Intermingled throughout are lush herbs, fruits, and vegetables. There is a charming cottage vibe as you walk past the picket fence, with scattered objects of interest inviting you to explore. Alive with butterflies, the sounds of buzzing bees, and chirping birds, our garden is a wonderfully relaxing hide-away oasis in the city that is often enjoyed with family, friends and neighbour's.

4. Jay’s Garden 

On an unusually deep land-locked property for St. B, I created an English-style cutting garden to provide materials for my seasonal floral arranging business. As a designer by trade, primary attention is always given to colour balance, height layering, spatial relations between beds, and continuous bloom from April to snowfall. Particularly in the back yard, the effect of the whole vista matters most to me. Having to cut down the huge Ash that anchored the back yard’s original design last fall was a devastating loss!

I see gardening as sculpting with living matter - staying in constant dialogue with a diversity of conflicting needs; in essence, attempting to manage chaos. Refusing to be a slave to my garden, I choose to tolerate a great deal of chaos. 

5. Evelyn’s Garden

My backyard garden has been divided into two tiers with a series of stone retaining walls created out of necessity to improve drainage. Our property slopes up and backs up onto the Red River dike. As a result, anything growing at the top of the dike was always too dry and plants closest to the house essentially sat in a bog. I’ve always loved a garden with a casual mixture of many colours, scents, foliage plants, native grasses, flowers, and herbs. Come and stroll along the stone pathways to find delphiniums, flowering sages, daisies, irises, lilies, roses, and peonies among many others. From spring through to autumn, there is always something in bloom.

6. Lenore and Bill’s Garden 

We have gardened in this home since 1962. Sixty two years have brought changes to the gardeners and many changes to both the house and the garden since that first summer in 1962.
This property had belonged to an elderly woman who was an avid gardener. Most of the 75 foot property was divided into garden plots with gravel paths between them. On the west side there was a bank of peonies dividing the garden plots from the grass in  front on the east side there was[ and still is] an arbor of wild grapes dividing the  grass from the garden plots. In front of this another bank of peonies.

On June 12,  19 days before the possession day of July 1st the former owner allowed us to plant our first vegetable garden on the west side where there was already a plot of raspberries as well as a planting of rhubarb. We soon planted an apple crab and a plum tree.

The vegetable and fruit garden is the one constant in the sixty years of changes. Today you will find a Martin saskatoon , a Juliet cherry tree and Aurora and  Boreallis haskaps. Besides the usual carrots and beets there are a variety of pole beans, eight varieties of heritage tomatoes and four varieties of winter squash growing on trellises, as well as two varieties of zucchini.

The garden plots and gravel paths were removed in 1962 and grass was planted on the east side. It was not until I retired in 1996 that a boarder was developed. The sunny grassy side yard was now shady. All but one of the old double peonies have now gone. New beds have been dug to utilize the sunnier spots Newer easier care landscape peonies have been added as well as Joe Pye [Gateway] New York Iron weed  and a variety of hydrangea , ligularia and shrubs and other foliage plants. I have come to appreciate shape, colour and texture in leaves.

The north side of the grape arbor is planted with shade loving plants hostas,  pulmonaria, wild ginger, blue geraniums and spring bulbs. This shade garden shines in spring rarely before the basswood and the old Amur lilac leaf out.

7. Pat’s Garden 

Our gardens, both front and back, have been a fulfilling experience over the 46 years since we built our home.  Birds, bees and butterflies love to visit. Something we strive for is incorporating as many drought-tolerant plants as possible to deal with the every-changing climate. We've kept the front gardens more traditional whereas the back ones have a more country feel.  It is an ongoing endeavour, and we look forward to making more changes and see our gardens evolve.

8. Helen’s Garden 

My Cauchon Garden began its journey in 1995.  As a novice gardener, my first task was to remove 16 overgrown elm trees surrounding and shrouding the house from all sunlight.  The postage stamp-sized yard that emerged could still be called a shade garden due to the large canopy of boulevard trees.  None the less, I designed and planted all four outdoor living areas and when I ran out of space, the boulevard became my next project.  Fortunately, people who love gardening began to move onto Cauchon, which formed a beautiful earth- and heart-friendly community.  When you come to visit, you will see several other gardens taking shape as well as half the boulevard in production. 

Everything from annuals, perennials and vegetables manage to survive and thrive as well as attract butterflies, birds, bees and the continuous stream of cats and dogs on their daily walks. 

The Gardens of Cauchon are a healing happy place for locals and soon-to-be friends.
Peace, love, joy

9. David’s Garden 

The garden is located on a small lot near the Seine River in old St. Vital. Not being a thoroughfare, there is limited vehicular traffic. During the summer, people launch canoes and kayaks from the base of a hill at the end of the street. In the winter, they use the hill for sliding and the river becomes a trail for hikers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers. The area is heavily wooded and home to a variety of wildlife.

I began gardening in 2015. At first, just a few flower beds cut into the grass front and back – nothing special. Soon, however, things began to change.

In 2018, I decided to dig out the weed-infested lawn in the back and convert the area fully to growing space. I also began to learn about nativization, naturalization and companion planting. For access, I created red wood-chip trails winding through the newly created perennial-beds. As well as being functional, the pathways add a decorative element.

In 2020, I applied the same approach to the front yard. Now featured throughout the property are: Spirea, Veronica Speedwell, Weigela, Russian Sage and Day Lillies. They are complimented increasingly by native plants: Milkweed, Joe Pye Weed, Butterly Weed, Coneflower, Sedum, Cranesbill, Phlox, Rudbeckia, Coral Bells, Bee Balm, Ninebark, Diervilla, Yarrow and Golden Rod. Various tall grasses mixed in add height and ensure that the garden is in almost constant motion.

10. Krystle and Phyliss’s Garden 

Tree Huggers for cankerworms or forest tent caterpillars.....

After moving into this beautiful home 7 years ago, my mother and I have transformed a couple existing flower beds into our dream garden. We love having constant blooms, so we plant hundreds of individual annuals so that we get to enjoy vibrant colours all season long.

Our large wrap around deck is full of containers that boast tropicals surrounded by tumbling vines and blooms. Our many beds include hydrangeas, lily trees, hostas, irises, peonies sedums, begonias, liatris and many others. We have had many neighbours pass by and call the yard “a mini Butchart Gardens”, which always makes our day.

We turned our veggie patch into a no-till garden last summer and we now love to teach others how to do the same if they want more yield and less work. Our favourite part of each day is when we do our nightly “walk about” through the yard - chatting about our day and fussing with all our plants.

11. Pauly and Nancy’s Garden 

As an immigrant from a tropical country the Philippines,  I was longing for a place that I could enjoy and relax in the outdoors especially in the summertime from the convenience of our own home. Our backyard used to be the playground for my children. The pergola was a basketball court for my 2 boys until they outgrew it. Valiant grapes grow nicely and bears lots of fruits annually. My wife makes grape jam which we share with family and friends. Everything all started when one of my friends from work gave me 2 hostas. I then bought perennials and different varieties of plants to complete my garden.

I also have a hammock where I always tend to fall asleep after spending all day at work.

This garden is my stress reliever until it became my passion.

12. Bill and Ingrid’s Garden 

The ongoing creation and maintenance of our gardens has been a happy, rewarding, and creative journey of the past 12 years or so.
We are blessed with great Southern exposure in the front yard; where we have three separate beds of various perennials and shrubs at different elevations, along with a couple of cherry and plum trees. We use limestone rocks from a local quarry as edging. These front beds are regularly renovated and replanted. Pollinator friendly native plants and sedums are a mainstay. Note the lush Valiant grape vines on the front porch framing!

You will stroll to the rear gardens along a slate and brick pathway and enjoy a walk along a path at the back of the well-established vegetable garden. As you continue your walk, enjoy the various vistas of the lush shady beds of hostas, ferns, and many other shade loving plants.

Check out the views from the treehouse and connect with your inner child! Enjoy a bit of Tuscany under the grape vines on the lower deck!

13.  Charles and Lynne’s Garden 

We have four distinct gardens, first the boulevard with perennials moved from the backyard when the dyke was built after the 1997 flood. There was nowhere else to plant them! Then there is the front yard with perennials , annuals and two raised beds for vegetables.

New for 2024, I have started a bed by the driveway for lilies. Next we have the back courtyard and deck, our outside “living room , surrounded by a large climbing rose bush , and two fountains for the birds. Finally, past the dyke is the bottom garden leading to the river, a mixture of shrubs, perennials and annuals . We have kept the bottom of the garden wild by planting dogwood and letting trees grow naturally, to provide shelter and security for the birds. 

Written by volunteer gardeners participating in the 2024 Gardens of Distinction Garden Tour