Garden Visits: Yesterdays Garden

Last week, Teza asked me and my fellow garden forumers (is that even a word?), to write about our favourite nursery.  At the time, I couldn’t think of any. Sure, I liked some of the big ones, Lost Horizons, Humber etc, but none of them was a place that I could see myself working. And to me, that is what makes a favourite, could I see myself visiting there on a regular(daily) basis, and could I even picture myself working there.  At the time, I had not come across a nursery that could make me feel that way, until this past weekend, when I went to pick up the Tilia trees I had ordered from Yesterdays Gardens.  You know the feeling that you get when you are home, that warm fuzzy feel, I felt that right away.

Turning up the gravel lane, your drive through a narrow tree lined tunnel, before the vista opens up. And you see them, gorgeous display gardens.

Love that white metal arbour.

Wait, I like this arbour too!

Another view of it.

Do they know I am looking for a statue?

Arriving at the main sales area, we were greeted by two cats,and had a look around while the owner was serving another customer.

The first hoop house we came to had a lovely assortment of interesting perennials, but the second,

look what was in it. Davidia involucrata was a tree I had only seen in books and magazines, but here it was in the flesh. This variety ‘Sonoma’ , flowers in its second year, unlike the species, that can take up to 20 years to flower.

I also saw,

Sinocalycanthus ‘Hartlage Wine’, isn’t she a gorgeous colour. These were just two of the fabulous shrubs and trees in this hoop house, I want them all!

Wandering back out to the main sales area, I was greeted by Karen Charron, who owns the place along with her husband Ron. And I mean warmly greeted. When I told her who I was, (and bear in mind, we had only talked on the phone when I was ordering the trees), Karen leapt out from behind the counter to hug me. Leading the way to the hoop house where my Tilias were stored, she kept us entertained all the way with stories about different plants and suppliers she knows.

Yesterdays Garden was picked as ‘One of Canada’s Top 40 Speciality Country Nurseries’ by Gardening Life magazine and it is well deserved. Believe me, if Ian hadn’t been waiting impatiently, I would have lingered for hours, and dropped a pile of money as well. Luckily for me, (and unluckily for Ian) this amazing nursery is a 10 minute drive from my fathers house. 

I suddenly feel the urge to visit him  ………..


Thanks Heather,

Yesterdays Garden is located at #401 328 Grey Road 4, Hanover, Ontario, 1-877-364-2731



42 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    gardeningasylum said,

    Yesterdays Garden looks like a wonderful place – we are blessed with some wonderful independent nurseries in Connecticut. You can do a lot with catalogs, but it’s great to be able to see plants like that davidia in person! Hope they can weather this terrible economy…

    • 2

      Cyndy, I am sure it is a very hard (and not financially rewarding) career, but if you want to find more unusual plants, these are the places to frequent, especially for larger woodies, which can be very expensive to ship. I think as garden bloggers, we all need to help support them and keep them afloat.

  2. 3

    Looks like a fabulous place, Deborah. But you didn’t mention where it is. I know, you want us to visit their website to find out.

  3. 5

    Joy said,

    Deborah that looks like one fabulous place to lose yourself in !
    I love all of the arbors especially the Asian style one .. I have a thing for them.
    All of the wonderful plants ! I think over load information and happiness would strike me speechless and I would be totally in awe of it all .. amazing place !
    Wish we had one like it near us here in Kingston !!

  4. 7

    Melissa said,

    What a welcoming-looking space. I’ve been spending more time recently at a local garden center primarily because our wholesale suppliers are running low on annuals (bad for our business, good for American Plant, the garden center). They too have arbors, planters, etc. and very interesting ideas for containers. On Mother’s Day I spent my own money for lots of coleus for two pots on the back deck, and caladium, coleus and impatiens for my front planters. But I wish I could visit Yesterday’s Garden!

  5. 9

    Racquel said,

    What a lovely garden center and the display gardens are gorgeous! It’s nice to see how plants will mature over the seasons and what to combine them with in the garden. 🙂

  6. 11

    teza said,

    I have only one question: Where will Davidia involucrata call home at Kilbourne Grove? Seriously. DO NOT pass up an opportunity like that! What a wonderful nursery, and such a pleasurable inventory of plants from what you showed us. Ian, if you’re reading this [and if he’s not, make him come and read this comment D!] your wife needs Davidia in her life.

  7. 13

    Laurrie said,

    I must have that Davidia! Did you buy it? I didn’t realize there is a cultivar, now I need to look for Sonoma here in the US. Yesterday’s Garden looks like a wonderful place to get lost in. I’m glad to know more tilia will be joining your lime walk!

  8. 15

    Gloria Bonde said,

    Hi Deborah – what a beautiful garden. It also looks like it was a nice day. Thanks for sharing!

  9. 17

    What a beautiful and special place – great find!!! The Sinocalycanthus is stunning – what a rich colour. I can definitely see you going back (to visit your dad) often. Thanks for the tour. 🙂

    • 18

      I love that colour Rebecca, although it is one of those that looks better from close up, rather than in the distance, (at least that is what we learn in floral design school). My dad will be getting sick of me, lol.

  10. 19

    Wow Deborah – I’ve never heard of a Sinocalycanthus ’Hartlage Wine’ but it looks fantastic in your picture.

    I saw a hankerchief tree in flower at our Botanic Gardens 2 years ago and it just looked amazing. I don’t think I would have the patience to wait 20 year.

    Isn’t it great when you find somewhere so lovely as that little nursery. I’m sure your dad is going to get lots of visits from you now. Customer service like that goes a long way.

    🙂 Rosie

  11. 21

    Turling said,

    It’s like garden nirvana.

  12. 23

    Jen said,

    It is lovely, and they let you take photos. What a bonus, there are a few nurseries around here that I will never return to, because they won’t let me take a few simple pics.

    We do need to support the local independents, it is very difficult for them right now, and always.

    Sounds like a return visit.


    • 24

      Jen, I do not know why the nurseries would not like some free publicity, they are crazy. Actually since I published this post, Yesterdays Garden has linked to my blog. So they were obviously happy with it.

  13. 25

    debsgarden said,

    I was drooling over every picture, but especially the arbor and the shot of the “handkerchief tree”, which I also have only seen in photos. Lucky you to have this great nursery within range. BTW, I would never take my hubby to a garden center; he cramps my style, meaning he has more eye on the pocketbook than the garden!

    • 26

      Deborah, I have only seen it in pictures as well, I am so sorry I didn’t have room in the car for it.
      I know what you mean about the style cramping, I wouldn’t have taken Ian if I had any choice.

  14. 27

    barry said,

    Hi Deborah,

    Thanks for the introduction to Yesterdays Gardens. I can see why you like it so much, I’ll have to try and organize a trip up there this spring.

  15. 29

    Jean said,

    This sounds like my kind of nursery — the beautiful display gardens, the great plants, the resident working cats, and the owners who instantly feel like family. Thanks for the vicarious visit.

  16. 31

    Sylvana said,

    What a great place!
    We had a nursery here that specialized in unusual plants, and it shut down last fall. We were so sad.
    Until we got a card in the mail this spring – they had been purchased and reopened!! YAY!!

  17. 33

    Ooooh lucky you. A beautiful landscaped garden center with rare plants and a warm hostess, what more could you ask for. I felt my heart beat faster as I scrolled down your post! I bet you couldn’t believe it. I think you need that arbor and statue….it would be rude to leave them behind…after all, what are we working for if not to buy more plants and garden thingies.

    Have fun planting your new trees and have a lovely weekend,


    • 34

      M, I need it all!!!! It is exactly why I am working, Ian always jokes his job is for food and a roof over our head, and my job is for plants and books. I don’t see anything wrong with that, do you?

  18. 35

    Kathleen said,

    omg, I would LOVE to have a garden center like this near me. None of ours have display gardens AT ALL. I don’t know why??? I would think it would help the nursery sell a LOT more plants. Love that arbor.
    I’m not familiar with either of those last two shrubs but the flowers on ‘Hartlage Wine’ are spectacular and now I do want to become familiar with them!
    I can see why you chose this nursery ~ I’m sure you’re glad you found it and now that you have, I bet you’ll visit often!!! I know I would. 🙂

    • 36

      Kathleen, I have bought so many impulse items after seeing them growing in a display garden. I think it should be a priority for nurseries. I know it would be hard to find the time to keep it up, but it helps sell the product. I WILL be back (and I am sure spend a ton of money).

  19. 37

    You mean you actually get PAID to work at a place like that! I can see why you would feel at home right away. Just beautiful! I could work there too.

  20. 39

    I totally understand that feeling of “home” you are describing. Those are the places I lose hours in. How did I spend ALL afternoon there! I have a feeling your dad will be getting many more visits this summer…! 🙂

  21. 41

    Wendy said,

    I have a sinocalycalcycanthus (don’t understand botanically why there’s an extra “caly”, unless the catalog made a mistake and I’ve been calling it the wrong name all this time! Ha!). It’s a gorgeous gorgeous shrub.

    That garden center is great! Doen’st even look like a retail joint. What inspiration.

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