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Annual parade of gardens set for June 12th

by Ron Stevenson

Perhaps the best type of gardening activity is perusing other gardens.

Creating with the medium of living plant material is fast becoming the number one leisure activity for homeowners. At this time of year, the Fergus Horticultural Society makes it very easy and inexpensive to see what been lovingly created by local gardeners.

The five gardens on this year’s tour have been chosen for their uniqueness. Each has developed individual treatments using similar materials. Those basic materials can be found locally but it is the personal treatment that makes each of these gardens one of a kind.

Admission to the tour is free but a donation to the Centre Wellington Food Bank would be appreciated.

The society’s annual self-guided garden tour takes place on June 12 from 12:30 to 4:30pm, rain or shine. With our extremely fickle rainy weather, visitors should make sure that they pack an umbrella.

Fergus has enjoyed the society’s tours for a number of years. Visitors range from non-gardeners to those who are novice home gardeners, to those who are leading horticulturists.

Garden tours are great learning experiences.  Those diverse growing spaces are designed and maintained by devoted gardeners, who will offer visitors motivation and gardening techniques.  Photographers are most welcome to bring their camera.

This year’s gardens are chosen for easy access to the Fergus area. Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions and add to the educational experience. This year’s tour includes:

The Butterfly Garden, St. James Anglican Church, 171 Queen Street East, Fergus Parishioner’s donations made the installation possible. Caryopteris, Buddleia, Phlox, Eechinacea, Sedum autumn joy, lavender, and parsley, provide waves of blooms throughout summer and fall. The observation deck allows visitors to admire the Grand River and a miniature replica of the church. In a few short years, this garden has evolved into an oasis of calm near the heart of downtown.  

Stonehurst Bed and Breakfast, 265 St. David Street South, Fergus Mystery and privacy greet visitors to the historic property. The entrance foundation and perennial beds complement the façade. The homeowners were assisted by landscape architecture students to design a setting that befitted the stately appearance, while preserving existing trees. A salute to the area’s Scottish roots is found in the formal Georgian garden that takes the shape of St. Andrew’s Cross. Reclaimed beams from Seagram’s Distillery visually separate the Victorian gardens.

8072 County Road 18, Fergus The homeowners have allowed the Grand River and natural surroundings to dictate the colour palette and direction of this property. They have focused their gardening efforts on rejuvenating the grounds around the house. Annual beds once ringed the house, have now been replaced with sweeps of river rock and limestone. Huge perennial beds provide seasonal interest, while the rocks form a tranquil waterfall feature. A recently added sun porch allows for the enjoyment the tranquil setting regardless of the weather.

Under the Willows, 7820 6th Line, RR 2, Elora The current homeowners inherited the lovely landscaping when they purchased this property. Gardening efforts have focused on maintaining the existing plantings. A plethora of perennials surround the house in large drifts. Shady woods stretch along the left side of the driveway, inviting visitors to take a stroll. As you explore the grounds visitors will encounter arbours, benches, a swing, a wishing well, a small creek, a labyrinth, and other intriguing vistas.  

7224 Sideroad 10, RR1 Ariss The 1902 schoolhouse and property required immediate attention when it was assumed by the current owners. Garden lovers will appreciate the clever use of paths leading to sunny areas, shady retreats, and tranquil ponds. The mix of grasses, shrubs, perennials, and a vegetable garden are complemented by a collection of original pieces of art. An historic chicken coop has been converted into a Japanese rain garden. A summer cottage allows for a breezy “staycation” whenever the owner’s develop a whim.

Brochures and maps for this year’s tour are available at LittleTree Horticultural Ltd. (Highway 6 North, Fergus), Cedar Spring Nursery (South River Road, Elora) and the Fergus Information Centre (Albert and Tower Street South)

Visit the society’s website at for further information, or call this year’s coordinators, Cheryl Yuill at 519-843-4443 or Joan McWilliam (519) 843-4982.

The society is constantly searching for gardens of distinction.  If anyone would like to be considered for next year’s tour, contact the society at

Ron Stevenson is a member of the Fergus Horticultural Society


June 03, 2011


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