Why “Gardens?” Over the years so many people have asked me why and I have thought of so many possible answers, but I guess there is only one that really hits home for me and it is this…Gardens. I truly can’t imagine doing anything else. Designing them, building them, planting them, sharing them, and helping others do the same. It has become foundational in my life….Cultivating Beauty in my life and helping others ‘Cultivate the art of Living Beautifully’.
4 Kids and A New Business
Twenty-four years ago my husband came home from work one day and said, “Honey, I really want to start a nursery.” Where in the world did that thought come from? In my heart I immediately knew that I was going to start a nursery. I also knew that meant I would start it while he continued to work his day job, which fortunately for us just happened to be landscape maintenance, a very related field. The truth was I did not want to own a nursery. I was quite happy with my life at that time, being a homemaker and raising four children but I also knew that when my husband got an idea in his head it wasn’t going away. And in the only way I knew how I embraced it and knew that this was going to be a passion for the rest of my life. Reality set in and planning began.
The Gardening Bug – A Pest to Nurture
At this point I panicked. Latin, I needed to know Latin and what about plant knowledge, I knew little to nothing. Back to school I would have to go, with 4 kids in tow. I decided that if I was going to do this I would want to take my previous skills learned in fashion design and apply them to the garden. So off to University to study horticulture and Landscape design I went. The thought of combining those two industries was exciting. Both combined beauty and functionality, both made people smile, both made the world a little more beautiful. The combination was a match made in heaven. If we were going to do this ‘gardens’ thing I was going to create something beautiful that would bring people together, to smile, laugh, and celebrate. And before you knew it, just as the famous gardener Gertrude Jeckyll said, “The love of gardening is a seed that once sewn, never dies.” The gardening seed was planted and in that moment I was smitten.
Multi –Generational Love was Sown
Raising four children in the garden has resulted in an entire family smitten with the gardening bug. Over the years each one of them has put their mark on not only the gardens but the business of Tanglebank as well. Lauren, at the age of 11, could be seen telling the much more mature staff how to plant up a rose. She is now the head horticulturalist. Lauren’s husband, Luke, is a very handy handy-man and builds our pergolas and garden structures on his days off. Kayla would be seen filling her mind with images of French gardens and French cuisine out of Victoria magazines, imagining great feasts and treats that we would create out of the produce that grew in our very large vegetable garden. She would go on to become the chef of Brambles Bistro and the original inspiration for the style of food we serve. Garden fresh, European and Mediterranean inspired. Our son, Daryl to this day trims the hedges and prunes and delivers wheel barrels full of mulch for the garden. And Andrew has his eyes on more formal design and building pursuits, but his talents can be seen in the Bistro and Garden shop as at the age of 19, he built the beautiful custom cabinetry that serves as cash and service bars. He now can often be found in the gardens of Tanglebank on a Sunday afternoon sharing his love of gardening with his wife, Tanesha and daughter Adaline.
Gardening is something that is best shared. Whether it’s the neighbour peering over the fence enjoying the oasis, a commuter driving by on their way to work grabbing a glance of bright colour to start their day, or the guest who can just sit, relax and breathe freely while sitting under the shade of a tree enjoying a cool refreshing beverage. So, back to the question that is posed so often “Why Gardens?” The conclusion is “Because gardens do what so much of today’s society does not. It brings people together, it helps us feel better, it, allows moments of quiet contemplation or moments of celebration. Gardens are a visual and ever-changing catalyst for life’s moments; be they large or small. Gardens can and do bring joy to all who partake of her constant and changing beauty. I have had the joy of raising four children in the garden and now a second generation of grandchildren who can be seen running around enjoying the freedom of the garden, learning the creative skill of creating miniature bouquets to sell to our guests; pulling weeds to earn a few extra coins so they can buy an ice cream, and experiencing the joy of a fresh carrot pulled right out of the garden or eating an orange, skin and all taken off of one of our many orange trees. They too have been bitten by the ‘gardening bug’ and, thankfully there is no antidote.
99 Years of Farming, A New Website and A Whole New Century of Inspirational Gardening to Look Forward To…
This year marks 99 years of farming the Tanglebank farm (read about the history of Tanglebank) and a love of plants and creating beautiful spaces for you to enjoy is what has inspired us and motivates us each and every day. We invite you to come and share our passion for beauty as you stroll the fruit of our labour of love. We invite you to Visit Soon, then visit often. The Gardens AND this Blog. We hope to inspire you.
Stay tuned for more stories of life in the Gardens of Tanglebank; we are excited to share with you our love of Hydrangeas and Japanese maples, Arnold’s love of Rhododendrons and Lauren’s love of all things garden and container growing. And we will be bringing you all sorts of ideas from the kitchen as well so stay tuned.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
The Tanglebank Family,
Arnold, Brenda, Lauren and the rest of the team.