Seven Willows Gardens

Over 7.5 acres of breathtaking gardens

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About

Seven Willows – Tolley Gardens was home to A.T. “Trevor” Tolley (1927-2018) and his wife Glenda, who now lovingly maintains the garden. It has been designated by her a Memorial Garden in his honour and in recognition of his persistent effort in the expansion of the lawn. The 168-acre property was purchased in 1973. However, only 7-1/2 acres are devoted to an ornamental garden which has been in continuing development.

The Gardens

The multiple gardens comprising Seven Willows are overwhelmingly about hostas. Between 1998 and 2014 a new hosta bed was created annually.  The primary driving force behind its creation was an  attempt to showcase hostas in varied landscape and design settings; it is this focus on hostas that is the major attraction. There are eight distinct sections or eight separate gardens, with each consisting of a cluster ranging between 6 to 12 flower beds, making a total of 50 beds featuring over 900 different varieties of hostas.  Daylilies are also in abundance, of which at least 175 different varieties are to be found.

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Victoriana Garden

Situated to the west of the spruce-lined driveway to the house, this garden has the most visible presence in the Seven Willows Gardens.

Eastern/Creek Side Garden

Runs along Nash Creek accounts for eight freeform raised beds. Most prominent of which are the four majestic willows trailing into the creek.

Centre Point Garden

The Centre Point Garden is situated to the rear of the house between the Victoriana Garden to the west and the Eastern Creek Side Garden.

Northwestern Garden

Bounded Cedar hedges to the south and north, the farm laneway to the west and Centre Point to the east and all the cottage style beds that wrap around the house.

Summer House Garden

There is more harmony with the rustic setting here in the presence of the rustic structure referred to as the Summer House. Need another line of tect here.

Japanese Style Garden

Each bed gives a different representation of the key elements of Japanese-garden style evoking water, earth, mountain and fire.

Woodland Garden

It was envisaged as a blend of regular perennials and shrubs in a woodland setting, a blend of two divides; it has not really worked.

Tour

All Garden visits are by appointment only.
Hours: 11 am to 5 pm.  June 1st to September 30th.
Admission is Free, however donations will be given to the Williamsburg Christmas Exchange.

The Hostas

A new hosta bed was created annually between 1998 and 2014: the final hosta bed, #49, involved clearing away woody shrubs and ground cover in this old bed and adding fresh soil to facilitate new plantings of 107 hostas, the vast majority survived, with a few more added in 2018. This single bed now contains at least 137 different varieties of hostas and over 70 different varieties of daylilies.

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Hostas

The distinct and memorable feature of Seven Willows is the predominance of hostas. The garden is a showcase of the varied ways in which hostas can be used in landscape and design.
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