Artwork will be part of this year’s garden tour

There’s a little piece of Casa Loma right here in Leaside, a weather vane of the Angel Gabriel.

Garden tour artworkA prototype of the one that sits on top of a pergola in Lady Pellet’s gazebo at Casa Loma, it looks down on Nora Campbell’s pretty Leaside garden.

The weather vane, as well as her wrought iron gates and railing, were created by internationally renowned sculptor Ron Baird, her brother.

You’ll soon be able to admire the artwork because Campbell is putting her garden on display for the June 21 Magical Gardens of Leaside tour.

“My brother created the iron work for me as a gift,” says Campbell. “There also is a small stainless steel sculpture of maple leaves.”

Nora Campbell Nora CampbellThe iron gates, which you can see from the driveway looking east towards the garage, were designed to appear cathedral-like. The wrought-iron railings and an arched entranceway divide the patio from the rest of the garden.

Baird is regularly commissioned to create large-scale, site-specific sculpture installations across Canada and abroad. Usually working in stainless steel, he has created many large works: fountains, murals and sculptural landmarks for world fairs, art galleries, parks and gardens. In Toronto you can see many of his pieces at places like Casa Loma and the Toronto Botanical Gardens.

This year’s self-guided Leaside tour includes eight gardens. Highlights include unusual trees, a putting green, perennials and groundcover, gardens displayed against the backdrop of a ravine, and a tropical getaway combined with an English garden with over 20 types of roses.

Campbell, president of the Garden Society, has lived in Leaside 30 years. She is relaxed about displaying her property, which she aptly names, Gabriel’s Garden, at the June 21 tour.

“People are so nice,’ she says, “and I know they won’t say anything about the weeds out loud.”