As the owner/publisher of the Internet Web site, www.ICanGarden.com , Donna Dawson has received many awards and has been recognized in numerous publications. Begun in 1996, ICanGarden.com has grown to become Canada’s largest Internet gardening resource site with over 200 countries and several million unique visitors finding a gardening site to learn and grow.
In 1998 Donna began organizing and hosting gardening tours. Her custom designed garden tours, which change yearly due to repeat guests, can be seen at www.gardeningtours.com She has also worked with Tourism agencies helping and hosting tours to their countries.
In 1995, Donna achieved her master gardener certificate through the University of Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden. She is a Director in her Region VII of the Garden Writers Association, Affiliate Member Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors and member North American Travel Journalists Association.
She has appeared in numerous gardening magazines including Homemaker's, Gardener for the Prairies, Gardens West, Canadian Gardening and Gardening Life, as well as local and foreign newspapers and Internet sites such as Familywave.com and iParenting.com where she is currently the expert on gardening. She is part of the expert panel at www.WorldReviewer.com with her specialty in gardens and writes for www.AccuWeather.com She has also had the opportunity to provide photographs to European Homes & Gardens, BCAA and Doctor's Review.
She is currently living in the Republic of Panama, exploring a whole new world of plant material and writing about it in The Visitor, a weekly periodical for both the expat community as well as locals as it is published in Spanish and English. Her articles have also appeared in Vivir Bien, a lifestyle magazine in Panama as well.
One of the hobbies that she has is collecting photos of seating from around the world while on her travels. Those can be seen under the Pix area of www.icangarden.com along with all the trips and tours she had taken over the years – be advised though – this is not an area you will want to leave!!
ICanGarden.com is her way of bringing gardeners together from all over the world, to share their trials and successes as well as learn from the thousands and thousands of garden articles by writers from all over the world. They can find out what is happening in the Events area, and if they need a garden club or supplier, they will find it. The tours only site brings gardeners together to share in the joy of seeing how others garden and to go home with both great memories and new found friends.
The charming town of Aberaeron is famous for its Georgian elegance with brightly painted town houses and an attractive seaside quay. This was most evident as we took a stroll out in the rather breezy weather to see the ocean and the boats. The houses sur…"
The English monarch Edward I built Harlech in the late 13th-century to fulfill this very role. It was one of the most formidable of his 'iron ring' of fortresses designed to contain the Welsh in their mountain fastness. Ironically, in 1404 it was taken b…"
That about sums up my trip to Wales – genuine and inspirational. There is a graciousness about the country that was felt everywhere. From the gardens to the hotels you could feel the welcome and it was so hard to leave because of it."
Historic House Hotels Limited has skillfully and sympathetically restored the 17th century house. The hotel has two restaurants, with imaginative food, which has been awarded three rosettes by the AA for fine-dining in the Main Hall, and is prepared from…"
The National flag is green on the bottom and white on the top, and right in the middle sits a red dragon. The Leek and the Daffodil are both national emblems of Wales. The Welsh word for daffodil and leek are the same – Cenhinen for leek and Cenhin…"
While Aberglasney’s very existence was unknown to the world in general (many local people remaining unaware of it), a small band of enthusiasts of historic houses and gardens had long kept an informal watching brief on the property, noting its decl…"
Spectacularly set in the beautiful Tywi valley of Carmarthenshire, Aberglasney House features one of the finest gardens in Wales. Aberglasney Gardens have been an inspiration to poets since 1477. The story of Aberglasney spans many centuries, but, the ho…"
The Feathers Royal has a strong tradition of hospitality. As the focal point of the small seaside port town of Aberaeron on the beautiful Cardigan Bay Coast, the Feathers was originally an 18th Century Coaching Inn offering food and shelter to travelers …"
Wilhelma is not a zoo in the generally accepted sense of the word – it’s the only zoological botanical gardens in Europe. And with its combination of plants, animals and historic buildings unique worldwide. A visit here is a visit for everyon…"
At Llanerchaeron we enjoyed a quick lunch before our visit. This is a National Trust Property and a rare example of a self-sufficient 18th-century Welsh minor gentry estate has survived virtually unaltered. The villa, designed in the 1790s, is…"
The Pomeranzen Garden in Leonberg has been established in 1609 by the Renaissance-builder Heinrich Schickhardt for the duchess Sybilla von Wuerttemberg. As the only preserved garden from Germany’s late Renaissance this rare terrace composition has …"
In the 18th century the Palace of Versailles was the ideal to which every European ruler aspired. But very few were able to realize their absolutist dreams in as literal, grandiose way as the rulers of Ludwigsburg. Ludwigsburg Palace is one of the larges…"
Solitude is precious and readily available at Ynyshir Hall, once owned by Queen Victoria and set amongst breathtaking scenery in the secret heart of Wales. Cradled in 14 acres of glorious gardens, this luxury hotel in Wales sits midst the splendour of th…"
Augustusburg Castle stunned us with its Rococo architecture. Augustusburg and Falkenlust present the first important creations of the Rococo style in Germany. For more than a century, they served as models for most of the princely courts. Like the…"
We arrived to be greeted by Gwynedd Roberts, the head gardener and Manager. "It had been at about my twenty-fifth birthday that my father unexpectedly handed over to me the control of the old (Williams) family property of Plas Brondanw which I woul…"
Stephen Lacey wrote a great article on Plas Cadnant which I read both before and after visiting and I urge you to do the same… a tidbit follows, but read the whole thing…it is so interesting. ‘In the valley, below the crumbing, ivy-c…"
After breakfast we were meeting with the head gardener, Robert Owen, for a more personal tour. He has been the head gardener here for over 30 years. There are 3 full time, 1 part time and 2 volunteers that tend these beautiful pleasure gardens and food…"
Gwaenynog Hall in Denbigh was the setting for the Tale of The Flopsy Bunnies – and we could see not a one! This was the garden that stories are made from…and it was a real treat to be standing in it…and hoping that a few bunnies…"
Erddig Hall, described as the jewel in the crown of Welsh country houses. How fascinating to see such a place, a home from the early 18th century which reflected a gentry families 250 years of upstairs, downstairs life. We met with the Head Gardener, G…"
John Criswick, who runs St. Rose Nursery & Garden is the consummate plantsman. He grows plants because he loves everything about them. No visit would be complete without a visit to a nursery but this is more than a nursery. …"
Smithy’s Garden is a labour of love and it shows in the layout and placement of plant material. It has a very enviable collection of Vanda orchids with their little faces welcoming you to your visit."
Denis Noel from Balthazar Estate showed us around his plantation and as we walked through this tropical rain forest paradise it was ‘look up’ all the time. Heleconia at 8 to 10 feet high surrounded us and when he cut the flowers to show us w…"
Master Gardener, Donna Dawson, has just gotten back from a press trip to see the gardens of 'this wonderful island that is only 28 miles long and 14 miles wide'."
When we visited Fay and John Miller of Hyde Park Garden, the greeting was genuine. Not only were they happy to show us around but after the tour we sat and chatted with them and were delighted by many stories. Their hearts are in this garden, it holds …"
Nestled besides the Penampang River are the many traditional buildings that make up the Monsopiad Cultural village, a living museum located 16 km or about half an hour away from the Kota Kinabalu City Centre. Monsopiad was a fearsome warrior who lived in…"
Located 5 kilometres or about 15 minutes away from the Kota Kinabalu City Centre. Formerly known as the Sabah Foundation Building, this circular tower of steel and glass stands 30 storeys high in the Likas Bay area and is instantly recognizable as a Saba…"
The second main mosque in the city is the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque at Likas Bay at the north coastal highway. It is another impressive example of a marvelous architecture, it resembles in some ways the design of the Masjid al-Nabawi mosque (The Prophet…"
This state mosque is a masterpiece of architecture with its dove-grey walls and glittering majestic domes with gold inlay. A wonderful combination of Islamic architecture and contemporary design. It is centrally located at Jalan Tunku Abdul Raman. Up to …"
Built in the longhouse style of the Rungus and Murut tribes that kept a wealth of historical, tribal treasures and handicraft of the indigenous people. Highlights are exhibits of 6 life-size traditional houses of ethnic groups, Science centre, and art ga…"
How many of you have had the opportunity to visit Malaysia…it is truly a country worth visiting. I have been there at least three times now and it never ceases to amaze me. It is a bit of a long flight from the U.S. but take the opport…"
The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens are near Winter Park and worth your time. The gardens are adorned with wonderful sculpture to view. The Polasek is a living museum, with outdoor gardens dating to 1949. The three-acre…"
Winter Park was an unexpected treat. Not far from the botanical gardens, this community is central Florida’s cultural heart. Filled with art galleries, museums, and the scenic Winter Park Boat Tour. This tour has been in operation for 6…"
The Harry P. Leu Gardens was the first tropical garden I had ever visited and I was stunned to see how beautiful a tropical garden could be. It is 50 acres of ‘Old Florida’, featuring wonderful collections of camellias – the largest co…"
The North Carolina Botanical Garden is a "conservation garden." “ Our guiding mission is to inspire understanding, appreciation, and conservation of plants in gardens and natural areas and to advance a sustainable relationship between peo…"
Gracing the campus of Duke University, Durham, North Carolina is the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, often spoken of as the “Crown Jewel of Duke University.” Recognized as one of the premier public gardens in the United States and renowned both for la…"
Pakakuna Gardens is one of the largest gardens in South America. Klaus Egger, the creator and owner of the gardens guided us. Pakakuna is a Quechua word (indigenous language of Ecuador), meaning “Our Hiding Place.” This describes perfectly th…"
Malecón 2000 is the name given to boardwalk overlooking the Guayas River in the Ecuadorian port city of Guayaquil. An urban renewal project focusing on the old Simón Bolívar boardwalk, it stands along the west shore of the river for …"
We had come prepared to this tropical extravaganza…we knew we would be walking in areas where it was wet so had all bought rubber boots. We saw flowers, we saw fruits and tasted fruits right off the plant. We even found a small birds nest while we…"
During the walk through the plantation we were amazed at the variety and sizes of orchid flowers – from the smallest to the largest orchids - some so tiny and fragile you have to observe them with a loupe. You can see a small yellow orchid being he…"
The province of Imbabura is located in northern Ecuador, a picturesque land of lakes, majestic sierras and terraced farmlands and is home to the Otavalo Indians, industrious and enterprising people, who offer their products at the famous outdoor market. …"
The garden includes plants that have adapted to the harsh climate of the high Andes, as well as tropical plants that are bountiful in the lush cloud and rain forests. The garden includes representations of the following ecosystems: the moorlands or param…"
"I don't think you will have any problems visiting this area and seeing any remnants of Katrina...I know we didn't - it was gorgeous and be sure to stay at the Parc England Boutique Hotel for a really nice experience. Donna"
We've all heard about New Orleans…but what about Alexandria/Pineville, Natchitoches and Shreveport? I was to discover there were more delights in store for me..."
Oakland is has 17 of its original outbuildings still remaining. Outbuildings still on the plantation include two pigeonniers, an overseer’s house, massive roofed log corn crib, carriage house, mule barn that was originally a smokehouse, carpenter&r…"
Marie Thérèze Coin-Coin, an enslaved woman, and Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer, her French owner had many children together after Coin-Coin was freed. On land acquired by land grants, the Yucca House and the African House was built. The Yucca…"
The two and one-half story plantation house is one of the largest in the area, with twenty-seven rooms, including a Catholic Chapel in which Mass is still celebrated. Betty Hertzog, a descendant of the LeComtes, still lives in the main house and offers g…"
Constructed in the early 1800s by Alexis Cloutier, this house was later the home of Kate Chopin, the renowned novelist and author of The Awakening and many Creole stories. The complex includes a restored blacksmith shop, a building that served as a docto…"
The highlights of a recent trip to India - from Delhi to Udaipur via Rajasthan."
On the banks of the shimmering lake Pichola, is one of the most romantic cities of Rajasthan. Nestled among the lush hills of the Aravalis, it has inevitably been dubbed the 'Venice of the East'. It is a kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples…"
Sahelion-ki-bari just adjoining the east of the embankment of Fatehsagar lake was constructed in its present form by Maharana Fateh Singh after the original garden had been washed away on account of the breach of its old embankment. A Profusion of flowe…"
City Palace towers over the Pichola Lake. Maharana Uday Singh initiated in the construction of the palace but succeeding Maharanas added several palaces and structures to the complex retained a surprising uniformity to the design. Full of wonderfu…"
Jaswant Thada, a richly carved white marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh ji, which preserves the genealogy of the rulers of Jodhpur along with their life-size portraits (no pictures allowed inside). The Jaswant Thada is the architectural land…"
The City Palace Museums which contains the original collection of the Maharajas of Jaipur. A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the …"
Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles f…"
Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh in Jaipur is a beautiful garden, located at a distance of 10 kms from Jaipur, on Jaipur-Agra Highway. It was built as a symbol of love. In 1728, Sisodia Rani Garden was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, with an intention to gift th…"
It was established in the 15th-16th century by the Sayyids and Lodis. The gardens are more like a park and nice to stroll in, but it is the buildings that catch your eye. Medieval monuments lend a charm to these gardens. In 1968, J.A Stein and Garrett E…"
Few forts in the world have a more fascinating story to tell than the Great Fort of Agra. Originally planned as an impregnable military structure by Akbar, the Agra Fort, over a period of time, acquired all the elegance, lavishness and majesty of an impe…"
"Congrats Kat!! and held in Canada House...how wonderful. expat from Canada now living in the Republic of Panama and one of your writers :)"
This canal is really a marvel in engineering. Nothing has been changed since the original design. The locks have worked perfectly since day one. It is fascinating to be on a ship going through the locks. You wait your turn to enter and sometimes dep…"