Known as Nova Scotia’s richest agricultural region, the Annapolis Valley boasts sweeping seaside vistas, pretty orchards, lush vineyards, bountiful farms—and an enchanting, tucked-away spot called Tangled Garden.
Pay a visit to this bucolic hillside property in Grand-Pré and you’ll quickly discover it’s no ordinary garden. Here, owner Beverly McClare transforms the fruits and herbs she grows onsite into visually beautiful and delightfully unusual jams, vinegars, liqueurs and more. Inside her fragrant, cozy shop you’ll find all sorts of artistically arranged bottles containing jewel-hewed, herb-filled concoctions that, as McClare puts it, “look pretty and taste pretty.”
An artist and avid gardener who also happens to have a background in the restaurant industry, McClare read a magazine article years ago about fresh herbs being suspended in jelly, and she immediately wanted to try the process out for herself. She’s since become relatively famous throughout Nova Scotia (and beyond) for the creative ways in which she introduces herbs into a variety of sweet and savoury treats.
Sample items like hot dill and cucumber jelly, rosemary honey and radiant raspberry liqueur with rose geranium, then pick up a few jars of jam ($12 each) or bottles of liqueur ($23 each) to take home—they make great gifts for the foodies in your life.
After you’ve browsed the Tangled Garden shop and sampled its wares, be sure to check out the garden itself. For a $5 entrance fee, you can tour the serene grounds, which include a sunflower walk, water features, one-of-a-kind sculptures and a wildflower labyrinth with a gorgeous view of the dykelands of Grand Pré.
An hour’s drive from Halifax, Tangled Garden is a must-visit if you’re planning to tour the Annapolis Valley. Otherwise, you can pick up McClare’s unique concoctions every Saturday at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market and the Wolfville Farmers’ Market, or you can order a selection online. The best part? Those jams and jellies really do taste as pretty as they look.
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