RWG was conceived 1998 at a point when I was tired of life in High Tech (30yrs) and decided to start a business doing something
I enjoy, which gives me the greatest satisfaction as well as unending learning challenges.
With my very supportive husband Phil by my side, we sought to find a place where the property had the right character we
were looking for to start a home based nursery. After much searching we found our current location.
Sold our home at the time and moved to what is now Rock Wall Gardens in June 1999.
The property had an old dairy barn which had been taken down many years before, with much of the old material rotting both inside and outside it's original foundation. It took us loading and unloading well over 100 truck loads of junk to the local dump just to
clear out the foundation. Along with all the clearing, cleaning, filling and planting of new gardens.
We opened RWG in the May 2000 with only one section of the foundation cleared
and several newly planted gardens around it's foundation. Many customers coming in
thought us nuts to take such a huge project, as they could see the rubble still left
for us to clear in the remaining main portion of the foundation and yard. Our gardens
were very sparse that first year with all these small newly planted items. It was hard to
invision fully developed mature gardens at that stage.
In 2001 we managed to clear out the rest of the foundation and develop many more
gardens. As well my husband created and build our wonderful pond with the walkover
bridge. Many of our customers from last year came back to see what progress we were
making. And from there we have a developed a wonderful customer base who return every year to see what these middle age crazys
are up to now. From this we have also developed many wonderful friendships as well.
Over time we have learned more about what our customers want, and are making headway on what we want to have stand us apart from other nurseries and garden centers in our area. RWG is a gardening destination which provides a very unique gardening adventure experience.
We hope people will find our place informative educational an enjoyable place to visit.
Ever since we opened we have found the weather in our area to include fairly significant droughts and hot spells. This further solidified our idea that a focus on alpines, rockery, drought tolerant, lower maintenance,succulents, unique, unusual type plants was the way to go.
Summer of 2005 Phil bought an old 1964? case tractor/backhoe and started digging up huge rocks right on our property. Then started creating a New Rock Garden. Yes this time we know more about Rock Gardens. I hand mixed all the soil following
Rex Murfitt new Alpine Gardens book 4 parts loam, 2 parts peat moss, 1 part stonedust. And planted it with lots of alpines (Sempervivums, small Sedums, Lewisia, Orostachys, Campanula, Daphne to name a few.) Added stained glass on glass window workshops and hypertufa container workshops as well as selling hypertufa containers for those who do not have time to make their own was added to our business.
Summer 2006 we dug out the small rockery beside our pond, and spent labor day weekend adding yet another large rock garden. We call it our pond rockery. It look about two months to gradually transfer hundreds of alpine, rockery plants into this new garden. Also added decorative leaves, water features workshops.
Fall 2007 - we dug up our original 40'x40' development garden, where we tested plants before selling. The weeds had taken over.
Then replaced this with a pure course sand plunge bed, where we could over winter plants. This has work out very well
for the kind of plants we grow.
Fall 2008 - we added another 20' x 20' deeper plunge bed, as the amount of plants we grow from seed and do from cuttings has
Summer 2009 - went thru our entire inventory and started becoming more selective in what we would carry, started eliminating those which our customers do not seem as interested in and those that simply are not living up to our expectations.
2010-2011 continued to a adjust the line of plants we offer, and are continuing to expand the types and models of hypertufa containers and decorative leaves we sell.
2012-We build a beautiful cedar gazebo for customers to sit and relax, as they enjoy our many gardens.
2013-2016 We continue to streamline our plant offerings based what grows well here/locally.
Trained in Horticulture at University of Guelph
Master Gardener with the Lanark County MG group
Past President and still a current member of the Ottawa Valley Rock Garden and Horticultural society (OVRGHS)
Member of the North American Rock Garden society (NARGS)
Member of the Ontario Rock garden society (ORG&HPS)