New Brunswick’s St. Andrews-by-the-Sea is a pretty seaside resort town with shops selling antiques and sailing gear — the sort of place where Cranesbill geranium fill window boxes and gardening is de rigueur.
Settled by the United Empire Loyalists in 1783 after the American Revolution, today it’s full of people with a natural, deep ingrained passion for land, sea and home and garden. The town has been designated a National Historic district with many fine examples of New England Colonial architecture from Saltbox, Cape Cod, and Georgian to Victorian Romantic Revival.
If you are searching for the perfect garden “Great Gatsby” wedding ambiance…this is the destination!
Copyright © by May DeLory
Kingsbrae Gardens in the whimsical town of St. Andrews-by-the-Sea in New Brunswick has a romantic history. John and Lucinda Flemer’s historic St. Andrews summer home, with tranquil views to Passamaquoddy Bay, was built in 1907 and designed by the great early 20th century Montreal architect Edward Maxwell. The famous architect also designed CP railway magnate of the day Sir William Van Horn’s nearby summer home on Minister’s Island, Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts and Regina’s legislative buildings.
Rosemount was once part of a much larger majestic estate with several houses, mature cedar hedges, stately trees, and old-growth Acadian forest. At one time there was a house named Kingsbrae on the estate at the top of a hill on King Street and was used by Mrs. Flemer’s grandparents’ as a summer retreat. In 1998 the name Kingsbrae was adopted by Kingsbrae Garden—one of Canada’s Top Ten Public Gardens—the 27-acre parcel of the original estate that was donated by the Flemers almost two decades ago to the province of New Brunswick.
Mrs. Flemer’s parents summered on the estate in an Edward Maxwell house built in 1911 that now serves as Kingsbrae Garden Art Gallery, Gift Shop, and Garden Café. In place of the once elegant Kingsbrae summerhouse stands the garden’s Visitors’ Centre.
The love of gardens is in Lucinda Flemer’s bones and is part of the natural driving force behind her personal interest today in overseeing Kingsbrae Gardens’ continuing development and success.
There are two magnificent old and rare cucumber trees ( magnolia acuminata) that stand at the top of a gentle slope at Rosemount. The trees live to be 150 years in the wild and are part of the magnolia family; these two trees are known to be the only such trees in St. Andrews. The gardens are for the most part set out in formal square configurations with black urns and fountains as hard accent points and softened with massive plantings of flowering bushes, trees and ornamental shrub, variegated boxwood, rhododendrons, hostas, delphiniums, astilbes, iris, phlox, tall grasses and graceful spikes with a border of red impatiens. There is a low growing, bushy rose shrub, rosa rugosa (snow pavement), fragrant with an old-fashioned rose scent, protected by large rhododendron plantings to one side.
A number of years ago a field behind Rosemount was dug up and made into a lawn. “Mr. Flemer decided it would make a good spot to practice golf,” Mrs. Flemer recalls. “So, a golf hole was added, and for the rest of the summer the lawn was a brown blob. It is now a beautiful place where friends congregate to play a little friendly golf.”
Spend time in what was once a “secret garden” but is now a pleasure for all! Don’t forget to visit Kingsbrae Garden’s windmill, tea house and gift shop and the miniature garden houses that are delightful to one and all but especially to children.
The view from Rosemount across to Passamaquoddy Bay gives rise to a memorable landscape—gently undulating lawn, and Mr. Flemer’s little practice golf course. Rosemount so near the sea often sees to great effect a soft mist settle over the gardens obstructing for a time Kingsbrae Garden’s working replica Dutch windmill surrounded by dancing shades of pink, red, mauve and yellow astilbe.
Enter the 2016 Kingsbrae Garden Canadian Sculpture Competition Exhibition
Kingsbrae Horticultural Garden in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, announces the seventh in a series of competitions for sculptors. Works in this competition will be displayed during the 2016 and 2017 seasons at the Garden. First prize is $20,000. The second-place winner will receive $15,000.
- 7th annual nation-wide competition
- Open to all sculptors living and working in Canada
- The deadline for entries is September 4, 2015. All proposals must be submitted according to the guide and be received by Friday September 4, 2015. Read rules.