By Tom J. Kennedy
The months of July and August
are usually prime times for garden tours with an abundance of blooming flowers
and green grasses. Whether the weather is dry or wet SpindleTree Gardens offers
a series of panoramas showcasing abundant flowers, perennial walks rose
gardens, formal and informal water features. The unique walled kitchen garden
makes SpindleTree Gardens one of the finest gardens that I have ever toured.
Though I am a native of
Erinsville, Ontario, Canada – a suburb of Tamworth located in Stone Mills
Township – and I had travelled past the signs for SpindleTree Gardens many
times, at 6248 County Road 4
just south of the village of Tamworth, I had never taken the time to visit
SpindleTree Gardens with its Tea Room and Gift Shop.
Then, one sunny day in late
July of 2012, with our cameras in hand, my partner, Josee and myself donned our
sunglasses and sun hats and spent the better part of an afternoon touring
The weeds were clipped or
pulled, the flowers were fed and watered and there was a fresh fragrance in the
air. The friendly, garden staff, were extra busy preparing for a wedding on the
It was way back in 1988 that
Susan Meisner and Tom Brown, self-described refugees from the metropolis of
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, moved to the rural area of Tamworth in the Eastern
Ontario Land O’Lakes Region.
Over the years, they have
transformed a simple bungalow on 20 acres of marginal farmland into a wonderful
haven of beauty and tranquility. Check out the articles and pictures at this
Susan Meisner, an experienced
chef, serves homemade soups, salads and sandwiches as well as a selection of
English cream teas in the Tea Room.
Tom Brown, a talented
architect has created a series of panoramas that showcase seasonal garden
beauty along an abundance of meandering pathways that lead back to the Garden
Tea Room where Susan Meisner serves a light menu of healthy selections of fresh
lettuce and other vegetables grown at SpindleTree Gardens.
SpindleTree Gardens is
designed to evolve throughout the seasonal changes. Fresh spring flowers give
way to a beautiful tapestry of popular summer perennials.
Next comes the blaze of
autumn leaves and rustling and ripened fall grasses. Of course, during the
winter season, a blanket of snow protects the garden until the warmth of spring
brings new life.
Tom’s latest work-in-progress
is the new Orangery/Greenhouse. Any plants that require
overwintering are stored in the east wing of the new Orangery. Read more about the
Orangery/Greenhouse in this blog article:
SpindleTree Gardens and the
accompanying Gift Shop are open daily – except Tuesday and Thursday – 10 AM
until 4:30 PM from Mother’s Day in May until Canadian Thanksgiving in October.
Tom Brown offers a daily, guided tour at 11:00 AM sharp.
birthday parties and other special events including meetings and celebrations
of all kinds can be scheduled at SpindleTree Gardens – call or email SpindleTree
Gardens for more information.
We were so impressed with our
visit to SpindleTree Gardens, that one year later we decided to purchase a gift
certificate from SpindleTree Gardens as a unique wedding gift for my niece and
her husband who were married at Calpin Lake in Erinsville, Ontario, on July 20,
2013. The gift certificate included a complete tour of SpindleTree Gardens with
On the weekend of July 20,
2013, my partner and I reserved a room at the At Home Bed and Breakfast at 12
Ottawa St. in the downtown village of Tamworth since we were attending my
niece’s wedding at Calpin Lake in Erinsville on the Saturday evening.
Upon our arrival at the At
Home Bed and Breakfast, the co-owner, Dorothy Burley warmly welcomed us and
showed us to our upstairs room.
The At Home Bed and Breakfast
house is a 150 year old brick house situated on the edge of the Salmon River.
The open window on the east side of our room overlooked to fast, flowing water
of the Salmon River. The soothing sound of water is ideal for inducing restful
A patio table complete with
accompanying chairs and a backyard pool likewise make the outdoor experience a
Dorothy Burley has previous
experience as a professional chef, so our Sunday morning breakfast was a
delightful combination of fresh fruits, a tasty omelette with whole grain
toast, home-made jams and our choice of coffee or tea.
We learned that Dorothy and
her husband Terry, moved from the metropolis of Toronto, Ontario, Canada to the
village of Tamworth in 2006.
Together, they re-designed
the kitchen area, sanded the floors to the original maple wood, stripped and
re-varnished the stairs – making their At Home Bed and Breakfast a welcoming
place to stay.
The rooms are clean, complete
with TV and DVD player and free WiFi. Though we had the option of enjoying air
conditioning we chose to sleep with open windows and the slow speed of the
My partner and I enjoyed our
stay at the At Home Bed and Breakfast and we highly recommend a trip to
Tamworth, Ontario, Canada that includes a tour at SpindleTree Gardens and one
or more overnight stays at the At Home Bed and Breakfast.
Learn more about Tamworth,
Ontario, Canada, the community and the other local businesses at these
In the fall of 2004,
myself with the support of various other
usuryfree creatives launched the Tamworth Hours project – a usuryfree time
currency to motivate consumers to shop locally.
After 4 years of marketing
with the support of various articles in the local weekly newspapers the project
was shelved for lack of participation. I guess we were slightly ahead of our
time – for the usuryfree time currency movement continues to grow and expand
all over the world.
The article “Did Tamworth Miss A Golden Opportunity”
as first published by Grasshopper Media
offers an abundance of background information about the Tamworth Hours project.
With sufficient support from local businesses and consumers, the village of
Tamworth could have become the “poster town” in Canada for the ever-expanding usuryfree
time currency movement. Ithaca, New York is the "poster town" for the usuryfree time currency movement in the United States as they have had the Ithaca Hours fully operational since 1991.
Hopefully, the idea will be
resurrected and implemented by local entreprenurs and visionaries - at some
future date - when the conventional economy of usury-based debt money collapses.
PS: A framed
picture of the Tamworth Hours hangs on the wall at the At Home Bed and