Plants have been a lifelong passion for Kevin so in 2005 it seemed like a logical step to launch South Coast Gardens. Prior to that he worked full time in the field of biodiversity conservation holding past positions at both World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF) and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Kevin believes that his passion for plants and a general appreciation of nature were instilled in him while he was growing up surrounded by forests and wetlands in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. Always eager to explore new habitats, his parents yard quickly filled up with a diversity of native trees and flowering shrubs. An interest in the botanical riches of more southern regions set in an early age as he struggled to find ways to successfully overwinter species such as broad-leaved Rhododendrons – in a location where winter temperatures regularly dipped to near –40!
At university Kevin pursued his interests in the study of plant distribution, focussing on the shifts in the habitat preferences of tree populations at their northern range limits. In 1979, Kevin moved south to Toronto to pursue graduate studies in biogeography and plant ecology where he soon encountered the rich Carolinian forests of Norfolk County along Lake Erie and fell in love with the Region. Now he and his partner reside on a 28 acre country property overlooking the coastal wetlands bordering Lake Erie. Today, he gets great satisfaction from introducing fellow gardeners to unusual plants and working with clients to design and install gardens that include a ‘touch of the south’.
Kevin holds a B.Sc. (Hons.) from McGill University, a M.Sc. from York University and undertook several years of post-graduate research in botany at the University of Toronto. He is a member of the Norfolk County Master Gardeners and sits on the Board of Directors for the Niagara Chapter of the Rhododendron Society of Canada.
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