A Calgary woman has a new solution for couples looking for a wedding venue at a difficult time.
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people to sneak into ceremonies wherever they can, Jan Hollingsworth is offering her backyard oasis.
With waterfalls, a creek and ponds containing koi fish, all amidst thousands of flowers, Hollingsworth’s garden covers the backyard of her home in southwest Calgary.
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Hollingsworth invited three wedding industry veterans to tour her garden on Monday.
The pandemic backlog means all three are very busy these days.
“It’s crazy this year,” said wedding planner Nikki Cook. “People are getting married every day of the week because it’s so hard to find a venue.”
Hollingsworth is ready to rent out her garden to people facing this difficult situation.
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“It’s an expensive proposition to get married these days,” Hollingsworth said. “Here is an opportunity for something more reasonable for people looking for a more unique place.”
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Hollingsworth Court is already a hot spot on the garden tour circuit.
“The Calgary Horticultural Society was here on Sunday with 120 people through the garden, on a tour,” Hollingsworth said.
Wedding photographer Ryan McMillan was among those who visited the garden on Monday.
“As a photographer, I just see areas everywhere I can take pictures,” McMillan said. “The color palettes you can work with and the textures.”
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Marriage commissioner Jerry Stilson, also on tour on Monday, said the garden symbolizes many aspects of marriage.
“You see the amount of work, and from a relationship perspective, relationships take a lot of work to make them look great,” Stilson said. “And you must get your hands dirty, I’m sure.”
Hollingsworth’s husband, Bruce Yorga, certainly gets his hands dirty in their garden.
“He’s the muscle man, the fix-it gentleman,” Hollingworth said.
Yorga is proud of what he and his wife create together.
“Every season, from May to October, this garden changes completely,” Yorga said.
Anyone wishing to contact Hollingsworth about renting the garden can reach her at [email protected]
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