Keppel Croft Gardens
A horticultural treasure on the Bruce Peninsula
Big Bay, Ontario
About Keppel Croft
Opening again in May 2023.
Come and explore Keppel Croft Gardens at Big Bay on the beautiful Bruce Peninsula.
We have four acres of gardens, a nature trail, an arboretum, and Keppel Henge.
Bring a picnic and enjoy our award-winning country gardens.
Bill and Dawn Loney
504156 Grey Road 1
Georgian Bluffs, Ontario
A Difficult Decision
When we bought our property in 1977 there were very few trees near the house or in what was to become the garden area. Instead, our house was surrounded by the stark dead trunks and branches of numerous elms, including our locally famous twin elm trees. Until the Dutch Elm disease gradually killed them, American Elms used to be very common in this part of Ontario. Shortly after we bought the farm, an arborist cut down the twin elm trees as with their huge falling limbs they looked likely to live up to their widow maker reputation. One stump was 54" in diameter, the other was 52".
When Bill built the pit greenhouse there was a sapling of an American Elm growing on the north side of the greenhouse. We were delighted when it grew to be a splendid addition to the garden. We took care of this tree and kept it well mulched with grass clippings and compost. In recent years we noticed that our elm was failing. We put off making the fateful decision but in November 2022, we realized we couldn't delay this any longer.
We contracted Parker Wallace Tree Service from Kemble to remove the elm. The limbs will be firewood. Bill plans to make a garden feature of the slices of the trunk in situ. It will be a strange feeling not having this gracious tree with us in the 2023 season. It has been such a pleasure to work in the propagating area with musical accompaniment from birds in the elm. Where will the orioles and cat birds go to sing?
Our website is being updated. Changes are planned! It's still a work in slow progress.