Keppel Croft Gardens

Owners: Dawn and Bill Loney

Hours: 10-5 We-Su, Holiday Mo, Closed Mo/Tu

Phone: (519) 534-1090


Address: 504156 Grey Road #1, Big Bay, Wiarton, Georgian Bluffs, N0H 2T0


Fee: $5

Pagoda and peonies
Pagoda and peonies

Since 1977 we have been gardening on an ancient shingle beach which still makes a pick axe the tool of choice. Our four acre, Zone 5b garden is a collection of small garden areas linked by paths. You can enjoy rockeries and pebble beds, xeriscape borders and a zen garden, a circular thyme and lavender garden, peony borders and pond bank plantings.

Check out our Victorian designed pit greenhouse. We use this for overwintering our olive trees, New Zealand flaxes, and other tender plants. Lifting the two large fig trees in and out each year wore us out so Bill planted them in the floor of the greenhouse where they flourish. We raise our seedlings here in the late spring and early summer.

Bill creates the garden sculptures you will encounter around the gardens. He has always envied those gardeners who have a barn ruin. We don’t have such a ruin so he has created his own—a continuing project for more summers to come. Our working barn houses an assortment of hens, ducks, geese and guinea fowl, a Halflinger horse called Cinnamon, and a summer flock of sheep.

Bill’s ruin!
Bill’s ruin!

Many trees at Keppel Croft have been planted by Bill or under his direction. He extends the Arboretum each year. Walk along the Nature Trail to the maple bush or up to Painter’s Point for a view of the farm, the bush and across to the waters of Big Bay. There are interpretive signs and benches along the Nature Trail.

For two hours every Wednesday, from the first days of spring until the snow flies, community volunteers work together in the gardens and then socialize over coffee. Together we maintain a large vegetable garden and share all the produce. You might also encounter WWOOFers, young volunteers who come from all around the world to work in our gardens. Feel free to join us, even if it is for just one morning!

Community volunteers
Community volunteers

Special events at Keppel Croft include a celebration of the Summer Solstice, held at Keppel Henge in mid June, and attended by several Tai Chi clubs and the Bruce County Astronomical Society. On the second Saturday in July we host Art in the Garden. About 50 artists and artisans have their creations for sale in the gardens. Throughout the summer we are happy to host weddings, annual family picnics and other celebrations. Don’t forget to pack your picnic and enjoy staying a little longer in the gardens.

Centrantus backed by cement scultpure
Centrantus backed by cement scuplture