when the Blaffers owned the property are still in existence, along with another 300 plants recently added to accommodate the Ste. Anne’s Skin Nourishment line used and sold at the spa. Rose extract is used in nearly every product in the line.
These talented gardeners traveled to Washington to learn the art of distilling, in order to know what to grow to continue providing the spa with the essential extracts used in the Skin Nourishment line and during spa treatments. Debbie and Darlene both feel this has diversified their jobs and challenged them to create the best gardens. While many gardeners spend their non-gardening months planning and sketching the perfect garden, these two gardeners believe in the ‘random is best’ philosophy. They plant where they see a need and if things need to be moved, it is just another part of creating the random perfection they are so skilled in achieving. And just like so many of us, they are avid lovers of Pinterest, and often find themselves hunting for new ideas that will complement or add dimension to what they have already planted. Their newest project, the Serenity Garden features a rock fountain, flowers, a fire pit and a labyrinth. This gardening team is always adding and changing in line with their philosophy of rebirth and renewal. Allowing the garden to grow and change
provides the guests who walk through the ultimate peace they are looking for. So what’s next for this amazing duo? They plan to explore beekeeping and the benefits it would provide the spa, along with creating a tea garden. And while Debbie and Darlene are extraordinary gardeners who spend their days digging in the soil, deadheading, moving plants and discussing what is best for the gardens, they are very much like the weekend gardener. They love to shop at a variety of local garden centres, as this is very much in line with the philosophy at the spa: they support local. They learn from local gardeners, trade tips and advice and love to talk about what they are doing and what they are imagining. They love to make their own planter pots and they too keep a journal from year to year, reflecting on what worked, what didn’t, what to keep, what to change and why. Like many of us, the highlight of spring is getting back into the dirt, planting flowers and getting the kitchen garden started. In the fall, it’s the thrill of the harvest and the success of the vegetable garden they have cared for and waited on all summer. In the end, while many of us wish to have the dream job of working in the garden all day, we are lucky to have access to beautiful flowers, fresh herbs, seeds, starter vegetables, knowledgeable garden centres and knowing that when we walk through the doors we are with people who can’t wait to get their hands in the dirt! Ste Anne’s Spa 1009 Massey Road, Grafton ON K0K 2G0 905-349-2493
ONE OF DARLENE’S FAVOURITES
Darlene O ’Conn
Cone F lower
ONE OF DEBBIE’S FAVOURITES
SPRING 2016 • 19