If you’re looking for a relaxed day of exploring coastal communities throughout the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve you won’t run out of things to do and look at.
This area is popular with adventure seekers and wildlife enthusiasts in search of world-class East Coast Trail hiking on the Tinker’s Point and Beaches Path. The shores along Mobile Bay are popular with humpback whales feeding in the capelin rich waters and rare seabirds like Atlantic Puffins can be seen everywhere.
Traditional Newfoundland coastal gardens dot the landscape, and folk art seems to be on display on every corner.
Traditional Newfoundland Gardens
Traditional Newfoundland fences encircle gardens, their woven wooden fences gently cradling young plants setting their roots.
Raised beds of various designs are perched oriented to the sun, and you can always see someone working in the garden.
Traditional Newfoundland crops like potatoes, turnip, and cabbage are now being planted and soon it will be time to harvest rapeseed greens.
Gardening in Newfoundland, however, isn’t limited to blue potatoes and hearty root crops stereotypical of a Newfoundland garden. Here on the Southern Avalon Peninsula, adventurous gardeners have success growing everything from Asian greens to morel mushrooms.
Newfoundland is full of micro-climates, each one producing its own set of challenges and opportunities for the Newfoundland gardener. When it comes to gardening here in Newfoundland, nothing beats local knowledge.
Newfoundland Greenhouses and Green Thumbs
Greenhouses and cold frames are more popular than ever, and having one is a great advantage for the Newfoundland gardener.
In Newfoundland, Greenhouses are a great way to start off early. For a coastal gardener, access to a greenhouse enables them to do everything from growing salads while the snow is still on the ground to act as their own plant nursery.
The Greenhouse in Newfoundland also gives a safe haven to more sensitive plants like basil and tomatoes, providing both shelter and additional heat units to whatever is grown inside.
Tors Cove Geodesic Dome Greenhouse
Greenhouses and cold frames can be all shapes and sizes, everything from a small cold frame made of a reclaimed window and scrap wood to an elaborate Geodesic Dome Greenhouse. If you like unique and exciting greenhouse designs, be sure to visit the old school house in Tors Cove and take a look at their Geodesic dome greenhouse and traditional Newfoundland wattle fencing.
Newfoundland Folk Art Everywhere
You’ll find art on every corner. Not all of it is for sale. In fact, the best pieces are gems incorporated into homes, gardens, and boutique hotels throughout the five ecological reserve communities of Mobile, Bay Bulls, Witless Bay, Tors Cove, and Bauline.
One of the most attractive elements of Newfoundland Folk Art is its joining of utility and function with the natural environment. A great example of this is the driftwood reliefs made by Captain Wayne from Captain Wayne’s Marine Excursions. These pieces are figurative and sculptural, made entirely of driftwood.
Does the design come from the artist or is the artist’s inspiration and hand directed by the driftwood they find? The only way to find out is to ask Captain Wayne yourself.
If you’re looking for a private viewing in an intimate setting The Blue Whale Hot Tub Suite at Whale House Guest House Boutique Hotel features in suite rotating fine art exhibits of sculptures and paintings from international artists, a great way to take it all in at your own pace.
Other great folk art gems can be found along the coastal strip in Bay Bulls, Witless Bay, Mobile, Tors Cove, and Bauline. You can explore these communities along with their folk art and traditional Newfoundland gardens with a relaxed coastal drive, bike ride, stroll, or any combination thereof. The most popular East Coast Trails are also found right here in the Ecological Reserve and link all five communities via the East Coast Trail like the famous Tinkers Point Path and Beaches Path.
Have you recently been inspired or otherwise impressed by a traditional Newfoundland Garden or a local folk art piece? Let us know what you liked best in the comments below.