A Trail of Trials is the nostalgic memoir of James Trimbee—his early hard life in England and how he made his way in Canada. James Trimbee loved nature and flowers. That love inspired him to build a first business in the Toronto area—James Trimbee Florist—that grew to be known and respected far and wide.
James Trimbee’s story begins in England, where he writes of his family’s life in service. Born in Upham, a small village near Winchester in Hampshire, he chronicles his early years of hardships and family struggles. The picture of England that he describes at the turn of the century gives us a vivid and true-to-life historical background for the images he creates of the working routine of local families and their intense struggle to survive. He begins his involvement with horticulture by working on large estates in England. Trimbee realized the social and economic limitations that existed in England at the time and decided to emigrate to Canada to search for a better life.
His account of his arrival in Toronto in 1905, again, creates a fascinating historical context that reveals a great deal about the conditions and circumstances facing immigrants at that time. His struggles continue in a new country—working on a farm, helping to build Casa Loma and its gardens, looking after estates and caring for the Lambton Golf Course. He struck out on his own and established a second successful florist business in Weston—Trimbee Florists. In spite of the many trials and through hard work, thrift, honesty and kindness, he made his way and was a success.