In a twist on the typical summer job, by the time Brian Folmer was 15 he had already started his own landscaping business. Eight years later and he’d opened a garden centre on his parents’ property northwest of Walkerton, selling locally grown plants. “One of my neighbours was a great gardener,” he recalls. “That really influenced me, and I always knew that I was going to do this as a career.”
Brian studied Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph, returning home each summer to continue landscaping. It wasn’t long before space became an issue on the family property, and he needed a larger location. In 1996 Brian purchased 43 hectares outside of Walkerton, and immediately began building the garden centre and designing and planting the future botanical gardens.
Download the Folmer Garden plan here!
Today, the Folmer Gardens occupy more than 12 hectares of that property, and have become the largest privately owned botanical gardens in southwestern Ontario. Meandering paths lead the way through a variety of plantings, including perennial borders, a labyrinth, a formal allée, a bog garden, a potager and a Mediterranean garden.