A well-known and respected landscaping company is bringing the Garden Tourism Industry to our region.
Nine years in the planning, Deanna Groves and John Riedl, owners of The Garden Place, are proud to introduce a sustainable tourist attraction, right here in our neck of the woods.
Tourism associations are excited and the Canadian Garden Council congratulated Deanna and John for the well-thought out plan, bringing the project to this point. Garden celebrities, writers and publishers are enthusiastic and offering help, suggesting timing would be great if the gardens were ready for Canada's 150th birthday.
'Sharing design ideas with industry contacts from Australia, the U.K., Canada and Italy, this attraction promises to be a worthy project' says Deanna.
The gardens will include such themes as a formal Rose Garden, an English Garden, an Edible Garden and an interactive Senior's Garden with raised beds encouraging gentle participation, and a special CFB garden.
There will be 25 gardens, connected by paths, with three unique 'surprise' displays which have never been created. 'These particular three are going to put us on the map worldwide' says John with a smile.
Not just eye candy for the senses, each garden will offer useful educational aspects. Things to learn that are important and helpful for today's lifestyle.
Program topics will include: the benefits of plants, garden design, realistic sustainability, Ecotherapy (the health benefits of connecting with nature), helping pollinators, creating water features and innovative ideas for growing your own food.
Deanna adds 'our intent is to really show by example how plants benefit us and how people can help plants.'
'We performed extensive market research to ensure the project would result as a viable business, and wanted to hear what the community had to say,' says Deanna, a business person with project management background, earning landscape design certification at the University of Guelph.
'The response was overwhelmingly positive. Fifty-three letters and emails came in with comments such as 'this is a very popular outing for all ages, especially seniors.' writes couple from Stirling.
A prominent business person in Belleville stated 'what a huge benefit to our local economy - this will help businesses who don't have the opportunity to export.'
A Chief Warrant Officer in Trenton says 'The project is a great idea, a fresh addition to our area - we hope Quinte West and surrounding municipalities view and support this, it is a wonderful outing for our military and their families.'
The Executive Director of a chain of retirement residences for Ontario and upper New York State responded 'this is perfect, we are looking for this type of outing, it is very therapeutic and a healthy outdoor activity.'
And a board member of a Brighton adult community writes 'this is an excellent idea - we will visit a few times a year because I know how plants change throughout the season - we're all coming - and bringing friends and family.'
Well-connected in the garden industry, The Garden Place is poised to make a real and lasting impact. 'We have listened to what people want,' says Deanna.
'Today's discerning tourist demands value for their money. They don't just want to see a bunch of pretty flowers, they want a worthy experience. When people travel, they want to leave their problems behind, experience something new, learn things that can benefit them, feel refreshed, and have fun.'
People will be able to connect with nature, enjoy sharing their experiences, learn good eating habits, be outdoors, partake in the planting, or quietly revel in peaceful surroundings.
'We feel there aren't enough activities in the area that seniors can join in,' says Deanna, 'and they have an enormous amount of experience and knowledge to share with others.'
Studying European Garden Design, Deanna says 'these gardens will have an international flair to them, and we hope to compete at that level. With our industry contacts, we will also be included on the Via Rail Canada's Garden Route, and listed as a garden to visit in publications across Canada.'
She goes on to say 'strategically located ten minutes north of Trenton, halfway between highways 401 and the Trans Canada, the project is positioned to entice 36,000 visitors a year, and there aren't any botanical gardens of this magnitude in the area.'
John adds 'this amount of exposure - you just can't buy advertising like this.'
'The gardens will act as a catalyst for other tourist attractions in the area,' says John, who has extensive hospitality experience. 'Local restaurants, stores, hotels and service stations will also benefit. Reports have proven to show that botanical gardens act as a gateway to a region, creating more of a variety of things to see and do.'
Known in our community by many, The Garden Place is grateful for the work they have accomplished. 'We have met some wonderful people here,' says Deanna, 'and each year we give back to the community by volunteering a garden project. We approach the local nurseries for plants and dig the gardens ourselves.
Some that we have done are Habitat for Humanity in Trenton and Frankford, Community Living Quinte West in Trenton, Home Build for Health Care in Quinte West (to help pay for equipment for both hospitals), and the Holy Trinity Church in Frankford.'
'Now we are going to do even more' says John. 'With a weak economy the powers-that-be need to step up to the plate and realize what does work.'
A June 2015 report from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce reveals 'Tourism is a larger industry then agriculture or the auto sector, contributing $88 billion to the Canadian economy and generating over 627,000 jobs.' While other industries are suffering, tourism is still climbing.
'We still have lots of details to work out over this winter,' says Deanna, 'and invite interested parties to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-398-0402. Please state if you are seeking employment, quoting on work, sponsoring a garden, volunteering or just want to share your thoughts.'
'It is an ambitious project,' say Deanna and John, 'and a lot of hard work, but the results will be worth it. Create jobs, boost the economy, work with plants, help people and support our community? Works for us!'
For Media Interviews contact Deanna Groves from the Garden Place at 613-398-0402