Edward Butts is the author of numerous books, including Murder, Line of Fire, Running With Dillinger, True Canadian Unsolved Mysteries, and The Desperate Ones, which was nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award. He lives in Guelph, Ontario.
A charming tale of history, creativity, natural inspiration, and a love of gardening.
In 1913, Howard Dunington-Grubb and his wife, Lorrie, bought a small plot of land near Sheridan, Ontario, for the cultivation of ornamental plants. Local farmers thought they were crazy. But Howard and Lorrie, landscape architects recently arrived from England, were visionaries who dreamed of creating magnificent gardens in the colonial wasteland. Realizing that Canada had no nurseries that produced the plants they needed, they started one of their own. To manage it they hired Herman Stensson, an expert nurseryman whose references included one from the crown prince of Denmark.
The chronicles of the Dunington-Grubbs and the Stensson family form the basis for the incredible history of Sheridan Nurseries, enhanced by the diverse backgrounds and experiences of the many people who helped turn a dream into success. This Canadian saga reaches from the monuments of Toronto’s University Avenue and Niagara’s Oakes Garden Theatre to hundreds of parks and estates, and perhaps even your own backyard.
“Although meant to be a tribute to a long enduring business, the story of the people who worked at Sheridan is especially fascinating. People of different backgrounds and interests were deeply motivated to bring the latest and best plants to an appreciative public.”
“This is handsome company history that also describes the development of landscape architecture in Ontario.”
Karl Stensson is a third-generation Stensson. He is currently president of Sheridan Nurseries and has been involved in the business for 40 years. Karl is an honorary life member of Landscape Ontario and is one of only four to hold the President's Ring for the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association.