Worth a journey: the Kingsbrae Gardens in New Brunswick
2011 chose the Garden Tourism Conference, the Kingsbrae Gardens in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea among the top five gardens in North America, worth a visit. And just a year ago, Steve Jermanok, a travel blogger for the prestigious US newspaper Boston Globe, even rated the park one of the best in the world. Although I have been touring Canada and the Atlantic provinces for years, I had not heard of this park before our trip to New Brunswick. And so this claim made me curious.
So we put the Kingsbrae Gardens in New Brunswick on the itinerary of our trip through the Atlantic provinces. Kingsbrae Gardens is one of the main attractions of the small resort of St. Andrews-by-the-Sea in New Brunswick, near the Maine border. We had taken half a day to visit these gardens and had enough time to really enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
And that was a good thing: first we stop at the park café, whose terrace looks over well-tended lawns. Here we sit in the shade of umbrellas and under the dense foliage of deciduous trees that protect us from direct sunlight and wait for our ordered food to accompany a guitarist who entertains the guests with his rhythmic jazz pieces. We need patience because it takes a long time for our food to be served. If you're in a hurry, I recommend a lunch break in one of the restaurants in town. We use the wait to sunbathe and watch a family of ducks waddling over the lawn: a parent bird at the beginning of the flock of birds, followed by the scurrying cubs, and the second parent bird finally puts the rear on.
After our extensive lunch break, we set out to explore the gardens - and there are some of them in Kingsbrae Gardens: the Sculpture Gardens with their funny sculptures, which will not shy away from "pissing off" the English queen she shows how she pours a glass of sparkling wine. Does the Queen actually do this herself? As she looks so wrong, she seems to have drunk a little more than you feel good about. And there are actually flying pigs that turn in the wind. It's fun to look at these examples of Canadian humor.
The other gardens in this park are more traditional: there is a rose garden, a knot garden with bushes trimmed in intricate patterns, a garden with hardy plants, an orchard and a labyrinth. On one of the park ponds is the butterfly and bird garden, which is adjoined by a plant with ornamental grasses. Behind it, visitors can choose a path through a tree population that shows them what the original forests of the region looked like. Or follow the path past lush hydrangeas and rhododendrons to the windmill. Behind it, you can let your senses run free in the Scents & Sensitivity Garden before you get back to the entrance area of the park through the Container Garden and the Heidegarten.
Time and again, we use the inviting seating for a rest and watch butterflies as they pick the brightest flowers, watch bees and bumblebees collect nectar, see a geese family swim over one of the ponds, and laugh at a cat that grows in the sun in front of the dutch windmill stretching and stretching.
So we spend a really relaxing and quiet afternoon in an atmospheric park, which always comes up with new surprises. Finally, I find out why I have not heard of the Kingsbrae Gardens yet: they were not opened until the year 1998. John and Lucinda Flemer, the original owners of the property, had bequeathed this and their gardens to the public, and the parks were laid out in their present form over a two-year period. And our judgment? Well, quite as far as Steve Jermanok I would not go and put them in the most beautiful gardens in the world. But the Kingsbrae Gardens are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful gardens in Canada and North America and are definitely worth a visit.
Book yours here Arrival by plane, bus or train*. Air Canada, Condor and Icelandair fly from Germany to various airports in eastern Canada.
Source: own site research courtesy of Tourism New Brunswick and the Canadian Tourism Commission
Text: © Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Copyright Petar Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline