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Enabling Garden officially opened at community centre

MARDEN - On June 21, friends, family, and members of Guelph Township Horticultural Society gathered for the official opening of the Marian Brennan Enabling Garden.

A joint project of the horticultural society, Guelph-Eramosa Township and Wellington County, the garden is located behind the library on County Road 30.

It began in 2009, inspired by a donation left to the society by past president Marian Brennan. Its purpose is to incite the senses, and to be accessible. Many plants came from gardens of members and donations from the community. This year, three raised beds were planted and are being cared for by the West End Women’s Institute and the Guelph Township Youth Horticultural group.  A green roof adorns the top of the garden’s new tool shed.

Robin Milne, Director of Parks and Recreation for the township, was emcee.  Lynne Martin, a sister of the late Marian Brennan, spoke at the opening on behalf of the family. She introduced her siblings and said how happy Brennan would have been to have a garden created in her memory.

Herbert Atkinson, her father, was a founding members of the Guelph Township Horticultural Society. Ruth Robinson, designer of the garden and chairman of the horticultural society’s civic planting committee, gave a history of the garden, and president, Phil Sweet also spoke.

Mayor of Guelph-Eramosa and county Warden Chris White brought greetings. He and his council and office staff served cake and strawberries, at the close of the official ceremonies. 

Following the garden opening a white pine was dedicated in honour of the first reeve of Guelph Township, Benjamin Thurtell. Descendant Marion Campbell introduced some of her cousins, great-grand children of Thurtell. He immigrated to Canada in 1832 with his family. He became reeve in 1854. A plaque is on the wall inside the community centre.

Recorded music began the evening and closed with some musical numbers by flautist, Rev. Dr. Pauline Head.

The Enabling Garden is open to all throughout the year. It has a fully accessible patio for wheelchairs or walkers.

Many hours are spent caring for the enabling garden as well as the millennium garden, on the hill by the lake, and the beds in front of Marden Library.

Any interested in joining the society are welcome at their meetings held the third Tuesday of the month, beginning again in September to November. 

A large summer flower, vegetable and photographic show is also slated for August, with an afternoon tea on Aug. 17 from 2 to 4pm. All events are held at the Marden community centre.

Further information can be obtained on the, or e-mail:, or leave a message with the secretary at 519-822-5289.


July 8, 2011


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Community Guide Autumn 2018

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