Keppel Croft: A garden with magic rabbit holes

On the eastern shore of the Bruce Peninsula in Southern Ontario, Bill and Dawn Loney’s very personal garden is equal parts labyrinth, zen oasis and trip down a variety of magic rabbit holes. Thank goodness they open it to the public during the summer. Though untrained in any formal sense, both gardeners have created a masterwork of garden design at Keppel Croft Gardens. This month (July, 2015) I visited Keppel Croft for the first time. I was so smitten by the beckoning pathways, the surprises around every turn, the quirky garden sculptures, and the thoughtful touches that made this very large garden (or rather gardens within a garden) seem so very intimate, that I had to come back the very next day and explore the whole thing again.

Here’s just some of what awaits at Keppel Croft. I took so many photos that I’ve broken them up into a series of consecutive posts. Scroll over or click on any photo for more details.

If there is a formal part to the garden it’s the front area which incorporates a long, dry creek bed and a terraced rock garden. Keppel Croft is a beautiful example of xeriscaping. Most of the plants have been chosen to do well without additional watering. They just have the normal amount of rainfall to rely on. In Southern Ontario, where summers can be long, hot and dry, this is an impressive achievement.

Follow along the dry creek bed to a terraced rock garden. Here you have to slow your walk to take in the fascinating details.

On the opposite side of the front driveway from the garden you just saw is a shadier series of small gardens with a slightly wilder feel.

Everywhere within these gardens, pathways lure you into forest and fields where there are even more gardens.

In my next post, I’ll show you some of the details that make Keppel Croft Gardens so fascinating. Jawbones and stone birds’ nests, anyone?

5 thoughts on “Keppel Croft: A garden with magic rabbit holes

  1. Pingback: Garden design trick: Start hunting a spirit at Sissinghurst | Ministry of the fence: Dispatches from our post-wild world

  2. Pingback: A river runs through it. Sort of. | Rhymes with Linnaeus

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