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Kingsbrae Garden, Saint Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada

By - March 28, 2017 (Updated: April 16, 2017)

Kingsbrae Garden in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick, combines flowers, art, food, and animals making it family-friendly and one of the best gardens in Canada.

Kingsbrae Garden in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick, combines flowers, art, food, and animals making it family-friendly and one of the best gardens in Canada.

We’ve been fortunate to visit some of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Last summer, we discovered two that would easily rank on my top ten list right here in my home province of New Brunswick, Canada. We shared our experience at the New Brunswick Botanical Garden in Edmundston, in northern NB, already. Today I want to share a botanical gem in the south of the province – Kingsbrae Garden in St. Andrews.

Kingsbrae Garden Saint Andrews, NB

I had been hearing about Kingsbrae Garden for years. My mother, a gardener extraordinaire, had visited on several occasions, and seeing it in person had long been on my to-do list. However, our annual visits home were always too short to fit it in. Finally, last summer, Andrew and I made a day-trip to St. Andrews to check it out.

Kingsbrae Garden opened in 1998 after the property was donated by John and Lucinda Flemer. The 27-acre estate was transformed into a series of themed gardens over the span of two years. Since then, Kingsbrae has gone on to win garden design and tourism awards year after year. It didn’t take long for us to discover why.

Kingsbrae Garden in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick, combines flowers, art, food, and animals making it family-friendly and one of the best gardens in Canada.

Kingsbrae Garden in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick, combines flowers, art, food, and animals making it family-friendly and one of the best gardens in Canada.

As soon as you arrive at the Kingsbrae parking lot, you’re confronted with plants and art – two constants throughout the property. In fact, Kingsbrae is as much an outdoor art gallery as it is a botanical garden. But I’ll come back to the art in a moment.

Entering the main office, we discovered a lovely little gift shop, restrooms, and the ticket counter. Kingsbrae is not-for-profit. Our day passes cost 16$ each and allowed unlimited entry throughout the day; something we took advantage of later in the day. Family passes, week-long passes, and seasonal memberships are also available.

The Rose Garden at Kingsbrae Gardens, St. Andrews, NB

The Rose Garden at Kingsbrae Gardens, St. Andrews, NB

Our first stop was the Knot and Rose Garden as we were told they’d be releasing ladybugs shortly. Kingsbrae uses these little predators as natural pesticides against aphids. The ladybug release is one of the many daily programs throughout the summer, targeted at children.

Releasing the ladybugs at Kingsbrae Garden

Releasing the ladybugs at Kingsbrae Garden

Once the ladybugs were lunching, we set off to discover the many themed gardens. While walking the suggested route through Kingsbrae takes only an hour, you can easily spend an entire day here amidst the 2,500 varieties of plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers.

I’ll let my photos tell a thousand words…

Kingsbrae Garden Theme Gardens

The stunning Perennial Garden at Kingsbrea, St. Andrews, NB

The stunning Perennial Garden at Kingsbrea, St. Andrews, NB

Our favourite garden at Kingsbrae was the colourful Perennial Garden

Our favourite garden at Kingsbrae was the colourful Perennial Garden

Strolling through the Kingbrae's Perennial Garden

Strolling through the Kingbrae’s Perennial Garden

Hibiscus at Kingsbrae Garden, St. Andrews, NB

Hibiscus at Kingsbrae Garden, St. Andrews, NB

The White Garden, Kingsbrae Garden, St. Andrews, NB

The White Garden, Kingsbrae Garden, St. Andrews, NB

The pond at Kingsbrae Garden in the evening light

The pond at Kingsbrae Garden in the evening light

Lilies blooming in the pond at Kingsbrae Gardens, St. Andrews, NB

Lilies blooming in the pond at Kingsbrae Gardens, St. Andrews, NB

The maze and garden art at Kingsbrae Garden, St. Andrews, NB

The maze and garden art at Kingsbrae Garden, St. Andrews, NB

The Gravel and Ornamental Grasses Gardens at Kingsbrae, St. Andrews, NB

The Gravel and Ornamental Grasses Gardens at Kingsbrae, St. Andrews, NB

This vegetable garden joins the seniors' home next door and residents can care for and harvest their own food.

This vegetable garden joins the seniors’ home next door and residents can care for and harvest their own food.

Kingsbrae Garden for Families

Of, course, there’s much more to Kingsbrae Gardens than plants. Around the grounds, there are a number of different structures. One of my favourites was the one-third scale Dutch Windmill. (It made us a bit homesick.) It was built in the Netherlands and is fully functioning.

The Kingsbrae Windmill can been seen from most places inside the garden

The Kingsbrae Windmill can been seen from most places inside the garden

Kingsbrae Garden's miniature Dutch Windmill

Kingsbrae Garden’s miniature Dutch Windmill

The children’s fantasy garden includes several playhouses including the adorable O’Neil Family Playhouse, built in 1894.

The children's Fantasy Garden is interactive and quirky'

The children’s Fantasy Garden is interactive and quirky’

The O'Neil Family Playhouse looks lovely amidst Kingsbrae's Gardens

The O’Neil Family Playhouse looks lovely amidst Kingsbrae’s Gardens

Kingsbrae also has some four-legged residents. There is a troop of 11 alpacas who live in the garden year-round. During the summer, they take daily walks on the lawn and act as natural mowers.

The curious alpacas of Kingsbrae Gardens, St. Andrews, New Brunswick

The curious alpacas of Kingsbrae Gardens, St. Andrews, New Brunswick

#HairGoals, a friendly alpaca at Kingsbrae Garden, St. Andrews

#HairGoals, a friendly alpaca at Kingsbrae Garden, St. Andrews

There are also some friendly goats of various breeds, including Moe, a Pigmy-Nigerian cross who thinks he’s an alpaca. Moe’s mom died shortly after he was born, so he was raised by the garden staff. Not knowing much about being a goat, he befriended Philby the Alpaca, and now they are BFFs. Moe serenaded us when we visited his pen.

Moe the goat may be a bit confused about his identity but he serenaded us just the same.

Moe the goat may be a bit confused about his identity but he serenaded us just the same.

Art at Kingsbrae Garden

What I believe makes Kingsbrae so special, however, is the seamless marriage of plants and art. Everywhere you look around the garden is an artistic touch. A sculpture here, a painted piano there, a mosaic, a quirky statue, it’s a veritable feast for the eyes.

We loved this colourful art glass sculpture at Kingsbrae Garden

We loved this colourful art glass sculpture at Kingsbrae Garden

There is colour and whimsy throughout Kingsbrae Garden

There is colour and whimsy throughout Kingsbrae Garden

Art and sculpture are found throughout Kingsbrae Garden

Art and sculpture are found throughout Kingsbrae Garden

The Sculpture Garden at Kingsbrae is home the the past competition winners.

The Sculpture Garden at Kingsbrae is home the the past competition winners.

Nowhere is the art more prevalent than in the sculpture garden. This unique garden began in 2009 with the now annual Kingsbrae Garden Canadian Sculpture Competition. Over 80 sculptures have been displayed since the contest’s inception and each year’s winners are given a permanent home in the garden.

With your day-pass admission, you’re free to leave the garden and return later. We came back to enjoy a meal at the Garden Café, and we’re glad we did. While Award-winning Chef Alex Haun and his team create fine-dining dishes as well, we were feeling casual and weren’t disappointed with our choices.

Inside the Kingsbrae Garden Cafe and art gallery, St. Andrew's, NB

Inside the Kingsbrae Garden Cafe and art gallery, St. Andrew’s, NB

Hot wings, a burger, fish tacos, and a decadent dessert rounded out our Kingsbrae Cafe experience.

Hot wings, a burger, fish tacos, and a decadent dessert rounded out our Kingsbrae Cafe experience.

The café has a lovely terrace, and we were treated to live music while we dined. There is also a small art gallery in the café with pieces for sale by Canadian artists.

Even after spending most of the day at Kingsbrae Garden, I’m sure there are things we missed. Plus, the beauty of gardens is they are always changing, so we’re eager to return and see it all again at a different time of year.

Kingsbrae in the evening was quiet and glowing with golden light

Kingsbrae in the evening was quiet and glowing with golden light

Kingsbrae Garden is an easy day-trip from Saint John, but St. Andrews is well worth visiting in its own right and has some excellent hotel options.

Kingsbrae Garden in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick, combines flowers, art, food, and animals making it family-friendly and one of the best gardens in Canada.

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of Cheeseweb.eu. She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
- 15 hours ago

4 comments

  1. Comment by Mary Newman

    Mary Newman March 29, 2017 at 03:10

    I have never been there! Looks so pretty and I’ll have to add it to my list of places to visit! {Never enough time!}

    • Comment by Alison Cornford-Matheson

      Alison Cornford-Matheson March 29, 2017 at 15:35

      Definitely, one to add to your list, Mary! It had been on mine for ages and it was worth the trip. Plus there’s a lot to see and do in St. Andrews, especially with the kids. 🙂

  2. Comment by Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net)

    Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) March 29, 2017 at 22:10

    What beautiful gardens! Love the cafe, too. We would love to explore New Brunswick – hopefully we’ll get there soon! Pinning this for when we do make it. 🙂

    • Comment by Alison Cornford-Matheson

      Alison Cornford-Matheson March 29, 2017 at 23:09

      It’s definitely worth the trip! If you head to NB and need any tips don’t hesitate to ask. 🙂

Comments are closed.

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