Fernwood Hills Our Story
In the mid-sixties, Fernwood Park started by Vern and Frances Humphrey and named for the thousands upon thousands of beautiful ferns that are throughout the 36-acre property. After you enter the private drive you wind through the tall evergreen-lined lane that was originally planted with 3-foot-high trees that have now grown over the years with some reaching upwards to 50-100 feet.
Vern, as a landscaper throughout the Komoka, Kilworth and London area had an eye for design and never stopped working as many gorgeous rock gardens were created and the property was sculpted with flower beds and trees throughout, each placed with care in spots where they would grow for centuries. Given the native trees, the lush greens and beautiful natural setting nestled in the Private Park it was a great scenic setting for camping, tents and trailers as well as retreats and organized gatherings, dinners and event days. Many families appreciated getting away from the city and having their picnic’s or overnight camping here. Hospitality oozed on this property and on weekends, the in-house chef Vern, who got most of his training as a chef to the officers in the army, would put on spectacular dinners, in and outside of his clubhouse, and serve over 100 people every weekend. Sometimes followed by a special speaker, music, or a special theme night. It attracted people across southwestern Ontario.
With hospitality being a prime focus of the business, many of the family was on board to help. There was always work to do on the property from cutting the unending amount of grass, picking the rows upon rows of vegetables, preserving the forest, gardens, and acres of gladiolas grown for giving away and selling to the community, amongst various other things.
Over the years, it never changed that various gatherings were held and there was always food in abundance.
Large tents were put up for many gatherings and events that were too big to be held in the smaller clubhouse buildings and there were an onsite tuck shop and laundry facilities for people visiting or staying overnight or longer stays.
Some Sundays outdoor tent church services were held here and used for various churches in the areas to meet in the out of doors.
The property was used as well for numerous photo opportunities and with its beauty it attracted many.
There is such an element of sweetness to weddings that are held on site back in the woods as the design of the property merged to that as well. The property has an intimate ceremony spot in an oasis of green in the woods. The forest is not some ordinary woods, as it has the infrastructure of hydro and water lines that were put in during the late 60’s and seventies. There are several water features as well as many garden attractions. With loads of parking and organized roads even throughout the woods, it flows really well for weddings.
In consideration for our neighbours and the community around us, we have taken the stand not to inconvenience people by operating after 11 p.m. outdoors. In the past events and overnight camping was prevalent however taken into consideration the noise by-law we abide strictly with that and discontinue any amplified music by or before 11 p.m. In fact, we try to go the extra mile and know that dance amplified music outdoors can be annoying so we limit the number of DJ receptions and have many self-imposed restraints.
We believe our ceremony location is one of the prettiest outdoor receptions in the area and with the proximity to Hwy 402 it is an excellent site. We like the intimacy and romantic spot we have and the serenity of our outside ceremony cove. Our couples all love nature and love to let stress go on their wedding day by being onsite with nature and quietness.
We also love small ceremonies which many larger venues do not take. Even 50 people and under are welcome here at Fernwood Hills. Many relax after the ceremony with ice cream and lawn games before going to a restaurant or other spot for their food. We have lots of thoughts on how our clients can have a wonderful relaxing day.
Besides the gatherings, events and recreation there are many “earthy” uses that the property has been home to. Tapping of some of our large maples for our own home-grown maple syrup is one of our late winter favourites. Honey from our bees is another as well as awesome salsa and canned goodies from our land. We also have crafted special projects from our fallen trees. We offer education and an informal opportunity to learn about nature, including trees, bees, gardening, and eating from the land.
Ever since time began photography, cinematography and more recently aerial, have been done on the property and we host a wonderful Studio here. Other photographers besides ourselves are encouraged to book the space and property for various photo shoots including engagement, wedding, family, and nature.
It’s a quaint property. Unique in the sense that it’s cozy for many events and gatherings but it still remains exclusive and personal and private.
We focus on the individual one at a time or the group one at a time. We want you to feel like you are the only one that matters when you come.
We pride ourselves that we are in the welcoming community of Middlesex Centre and through our business young couples and families are attracted to the area and some put down their roots in this area. With great schools, facilities and opportunity, as well as proximity to London, Ontario it’s a great place of choice.
That’s why many of our couples plant a tree in celebration of their special day and they visit during many seasons and on their anniversary.
Since the Mann’s bought the property in 2013 from parents and have worked on the property since each was very young, they carry on the dreams and goals that were set out back in the 60’s. Now there are three generations that have put their handprints on Fernwood and continue to make it special just for you. A hidden nature’s paradise, charming, relaxing and quiet.