A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the Historic Stewart Farm Seedy Saturday. When I received the invitation from the city of Surrey, they had me hooked on the phrase plant sale and seed swap. I knew then I would have to go. Not that I needed any more plants or seeds but I would go look, just look. I started my visit with a tour of this historic home. Volunteers dressed in period clothing took me for a tour. The home was built in the 1890’s and the family farmed the land. The house is considered one that a well to do family would live in. Bedrooms were upstairs and a parlour, kitchen and laundry were located on the main floor. To this day the house has no running water. Water has to be brought in from outside.
People surrounded the plant table as Derry from Derry’s Orchard and Nursery helped customers chose a good apple tree or berry for their garden. If you haven’t met Derry, she is a wealth of information when it comes to gardening.
Derry always has a great selection of apple trees. Most of them are ones you wouldn’t find in the garden centers as they are heirloom apples. Imagine an apple called the Duchess of Oldenburg from the 1700’s or Lord Lambourne 1907. It’s almost like something out of Downton Abbey.
Several outbuildings remain on the property. I had to take a second look at this faux horse standing in the barn. You can read about the history of this farm on plaques throughout the property.
Apples are espaliered along a fence near the barn. This is a wonderful way to save space and grow fruit at the same time.
The orchard is full of fruit trees. Years ago, Valle Luntzman planted fruit trees on the farm with varieties that she felt would replicate what the Stewart family would have grown years ago. During my visit a master gardener gave pruning advice to the public. The trees are kept low so you can reach the harvest.
Large drifts of Primula brighten up the gardens close the home. If you look out the kitchen window you can see the garden while working inside.
Early Rhododendrons put on a show with their bright purple flowers.
Next to the Rhododendrons a native Ribies sanguineum or flowering currant is covered in pink flowers. Don’t they look great together?
Imagine living here with this expanse of green and the river behind to look at. The Stewart family farmed the land beyond the river as well. What an idyllic setting! There are lots of events happening at the Stewart Farm so check out the City of Surrey’s website for more information, Historic Stewart Farm. It was fun to visit the event with all its vendors and displays. I can’t wait for next year.