In 2002, after I finished my course at Linnaea Farm, I moved to St. Andrews, New Brunswick – a beautiful seaside town. I found work at Kingsbrae Garden – a 27-acre horticultural garden built on the donor’s family estate property.
Kingsbrae Garden is filled with beautiful themed flower gardens such as the Bird and Butterfly Garden, the Ornamental Grass Garden, the Scents and Sensitivity Garden, the Heath and Heather Garden; ponds; orchards; forested walking trails; ducks, goats, and alpacas; and a 1/3 scale Dutch Windmill. Also, to my delight , an organic vegetable garden.
Each of the gardeners working at Kingsbrae Garden is assigned to a few gardens for the season. I was happy to be assigned to the organic vegetable garden. I was also assigned to the Knot Garden which was beautiful, but not so fun, as it required near daily trimming of the boxwood, lavender, and other herbs.
As we started work a month or so before vegetable planting season I took that time to plan the vegetable garden with a four-year rotation cycle and with a good mix of companion plants.
To get the garden ready I took one of the trucks down to the nearby beach and filled with with truckloads of seaweed that washes up on shore. Seaweed is a great fertilizer that is rich in trace minerals and hormones that stimulate plant growth. And for those who live near the beach, it’s free.
I also took the time that month to build a scarecrow. I called her “Stella” and she became quite the attraction over the summer.
The summer I spent at Kingsbrae Garden was wonderful. I spent most of my days in the vegetable garden, planting, weeding, and harvesting. I would offer vegetables to taste to the visitors that walked through the garden. I would also offer vegetables to the other staff who were not always used to my odd vegetables. No one took me up on the offer to take home purple potatoes! What was left over I took home and cooked up for supper.
During the time that I wasn’t in the vegetable or knot garden I helped the other gardeners in their flower gardens and helped to take care of the ducks and goats. I learnt so much that summer. Maybe I’ll go back to work there someday. 🙂