Allan received his Bachelor's degree in Music Education in the US and an M. Ed (Curriculum & Instruction) from McGill University. He has been an adult educator for over 30 yrs. He was raised on a farm in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley where his love of gardening and growing things began. He has operated his own daylily and landscaping business since 2006 (Harbour Breezes Daylilies & Japanese Irises).
He is a past president of The Nova Scotia Choral Federation and also the Nova Scotia Daylily Society. Presently, he is the assistant choir conductor for 2 community choirs and also the chair of the Board for Coastal Voices Men's Choir. Allan received the 1998 Reader's Digest award for Excellence in Educational Leadership and was recently the recipient of a certificate from the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly recognizing his contribution to his community for his business and volunteer commitments.
Allan grows over 100 varieties of Japanese and pseudata irises as well as more than 800 registered varieties of daylilies. He has been hybridizing daylilies since 2007 and has registered over 30 cultivars. He and his partner Shane Doucette live on their 3 acre coastal property on Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore, with their cat Caesar.
Living the Dream on Ontario's West Coast
Michael was born in Clinton, Ontario near the eastern shores of Lake Huron. While a farm boy at heart Michael worked in his professional career as a Funeral Director beginning in Toronto in 1972. In 1975 he had the chance to return to his hometown of Clinton and purchase the local funeral home. Eventually he and his wife Marguerite became the owners of 3 funeral homes in Huron County which they owned until his retirement in 2012.
Michael & Marguerite have 3 grown children who are all married along with 3 grandchildren. Michael has always been an avid gardener and attributes this passion to his late paternal grandmother whom he followed around the garden at a very young age. Over the years he has collected irises, lilies, dahlias, glads and many spring bulbs but his true passion has become daylilys and hostas. He has been collecting the latter two seriously since 2000 and it was then that he started his daylily hybridizing program. In true Canadian fashion he has been crossbreeding northern to southern and has used plants from well known hybridizers such as Bill Waldrop, Pat Stamile, Frank Smith, Larry Grace, Phil Korth, Jack Carpenter, Karol Emmerich, Bryan Culver and Henry Lorrain. Much of his breeding now is centred around his own seedlings as he has several lines that he is currently working with.
In 2015 Michael & Marguerite built a new home on the family farm which has been in his family since 1832. Thus began a new chapter in creating new gardens which is a process in the making. Currently he dedicates about one acre of land to his hybridizing program. Michael also has a small herd of Hereford cattle on the farm who also contribute greatly to the health of the gardens which are on very sandy soil.
Michael has been a very active in community volunteering with having served both as a Past Board Chair and Board Member of the Clinton Public Hospital for 18 years. He currently sits as a Board member on the Clinton Family Health Team of the local Medical Centre. He has also been a long time member of the Clinton Horticultural Society and has been President of the Society several times over to ensure the society keeps going. He is also a member of the Ontario Daylily Society and currently serves as Vice President of ODS and of course he is also a member of AHS and enjoys attending as many Nationals as possible to tour the gardens and make new friends in the daylily world. Michael looks forward to sharing his passion of the flower we all love from Falhaven Farm on "Ontario's West Coast".
During the main event on Saturday all attendees will be touring the first of three tour gardens. On Sunday, attendees will have the opportunity to tour the remaining two. Carpooling transportation to those gardens will be available.
Harbour Breezes Daylilies is located in Salmon River Bridge, on Nova Scotia's eastern shore about ten kilometers east of Musquodoboit Harbour. The gardens are on a south facing hillside with beautiful views overlooking the eastern arm at the head of Jeddore Harbour. The steep hillside protects the gardens from northern winds, and its south-facing (climate zone 6a/5b) position is also moderated by the close proximity to the ocean.
They grow over 750 varieties of daylilies and add new ones every year. They are also hybridizers with a few hundred of their own seedlings and a couple of their own registrations starting in 2011. They have a wide cross-section of daylily cultivars, encompassing singles, doubles, spiders and unusal forms. Hybridizers represented within the cultivars are mainly from areas with similar climates. They use no chemical fertilizers to grow daylilies.
Pheasant Gardens is owned by Cecil & Lillian Dunlap located in Truro, NS. The land they purchased in 2007 was devoid of trees and topsoil. After many truckloads of topsoil, compost and horse manure, they began building the gardens. In the beginning Cecil would travel from Halifax to work in the gardens, and then they built their home and moved to Truro in 2010. Their garden name was chosen because they were constantly visited by two cock pheasants while constructing the gardens.
Currently they grow 650 plus registered daylilies, along with Cecil's half dozen seedling beds. In addition, Lillian has added perennial beds, effectively removing that sales bed atmosphere. However they continue to operate a small sales business. Initially they were plagued with a large population of destructive deer. Cecil finally gave in and fenced the back yard off allowing them to grow shrubs and perennials and actually see them mature. As with all active gardeners, their ideas continue to evolve. Currently they have two new projects on the go in preparing for the Regional 4 Garden Tour and are very proud to show you their creation.
This compact residential garden has a foundation of gravelled pathways, conifers, boxwood, barberry hedges, & Japanese maples, among wooden structures. All designed in concert to highlight 15 years of daylily & perennial plantings.
Various pieces of garden art contrast between the seamless blend and strikingly visual, to enhance the viewing experience. Stroll the many paths and relax at seating venues as you absorb sights & sounds in what some have suggested... "a garden of little rooms".
We happily anticipate your arrival. Assure lots of garden viewing of daylilies past & present, of various forms & hopefully some soothing eye care at 'Sight For Sore Eyes' garden.
On Friday, before the meet and greet, there is a great opportunity to visit the most photographed lighthouse in the world!
Peggy's Cove has been an artist and explorers paradise for well over 150 years. This picture postcard village, on the rugged Atlantic shoreline, stands on solid rock above the crashing surf.
The fishing village has long been a backdrop for tales of pirates and shipwrecks and today you will have some time to explore the rocks, walking trails, village and many quaint boutiques and gift shops in the cove.
Peggy's Cove has also been the muse for many artisans over the years. Perhaps the most notable is William Edward deGarthe, a Finnish-born painter and sculptor. See his famous tribute to the fishermen of Nova Scotia in the village of Peggy's Cove. This tour will have your camera working overtime as you see the beauty of the Peggy's Cove lighthouse against its powerful Atlantic Ocean backdrop!
A visit to Peggy' Cove is free of charge.
You will have the option to visit more gardens in Nova Scotia at your leisure. Details about these gardens, including directions to their locations and when they are open to visitors will be provided both here and during the event.