Homes

FROM THE ARCHIVES: A glimpse inside the garden of Diana Beresford-Kroeger

This story appeared in the June 2008 edition of Ottawa Magazine. In anticipation of Diana Beresford-Kroeger’s upcoming appearance at the Ottawa International Writers Festival, here are some highlights — and a glimpse inside her unique garden.

Excerpts from original story by Janet Uren.

Photography by Colin Rowe.

Diana Beresford-Kroeger stands beside a kingnut tree. Diana has planted several of these rare trees, known as the anti-famine tree of Canda’s First Nations people, to test their range and hardiness and to preserve their seed stocks. The apple tree (main photo) is about 100 years old and survives from the late-19th-century settlement period of this region. It still provides the family with apples for cooking and storage. Photo by Colin Rowe.
Diana Beresford-Kroeger stands beside a kingnut tree. Diana has planted several of these rare trees, known as the anti-famine tree of Canda’s First Nations people, to test their range and hardiness and to preserve their seed stocks. The apple tree (main photo) is about 100 years old and survives from the late-19th-century settlement period of this region. It still provides the family with apples for cooking and storage. Photo by Colin Rowe.

The place is called carraigliath, Gaelic for “grey stones garden.” But Carraigliath is much more than a garden. A green and living experiment conducted by a woman who believes that people must live in harmony with nature, Carraigliath also stands as a testament to what can be achieved through curiosity, imagination, and a certain untempered feistiness.

“I’ve always gone my own merry way,” Diana Beresford-Kroeger says simply.

Over time, that merry road has led Diana from her birthplace in Ireland to a 160-acre parcel of land just south of Merrickville, Ontario. Here, for some 30 years, she has laboured to transform a fragment of Canadian bush into a leafy sanctuary for rare, precious, and vulnerable trees and plants. Along the way, she has turned into a passionate communicator who, through books and articles, lectures, radio, and television, has generated a gathering current of interest and action among those who, like her, believe that human beings do not stand above or apart from nature.

Click through the following pages for more images from Diana’s garden. 


Meet Diana Beresford-Kroeger at the Ottawa International Writers Festival event Our Place in the Natural World, with J.B. Mckinnon, on Thursday, November 28. 7. p.m., Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Ave.