Take a beautiful stroll
Niagara Falls Horticultural Society’s 23rd annual Garden Walk today
A two-storey brick and stucco home with a classical Tudor feel, surrounded by stately trees, topiary and wrought iron fencing, has been watching over the Welland River in Chippawa for the better part of this century.
On Monday night, Maureen and Fred Cade welcomed Russ Boles, president of the Niagara Falls Horticultural Society and myself for a preview stroll through their gracious garden. Russ knows the garden well, he has helped the Cades enhance and tend their expansive gardens for the past 20 years. Join us for a walk around the garden as Russ introduces us to some of garden’s finer points.
The Cade garden has been opened for Niagara Falls Garden Walk several times over the years, but it continues to evolve.
“The biggest change,” Boles said, “was put in last fall with the help of a local contractor — two hard surface seating areas. These new areas really invite you to come out and relax.”
The spaces are like outdoor rooms with chairs, loungers and fire tables, and of course enhanced plantings.
“We have added extensive ornamental and native flowering trees, especially at the back of the property to create a woodland garden effect.”
It’s a generous lot, stretching approximately 100 metres from front to back, and has two faces. The front, and more formal face along Bridgewater Street, features clipped boxwood balls lining the front walk and hedging across the front of the house, along with roses, hydrangeas and annual bedding plants. The garden relaxes as it stretches toward the back of the property along Main Street. An iron fence, hedging and a double row of cedar trees peppered with Serbian spruce help screen the back of property.
“Several big trees on the perimeter
of the property had to be taken down, they saved the best ones, and luckily they didn’t have a lot of ash trees.”
The remaining canopy of walnut, silver and Norway maple trees are very tall and well spaced. Boles add- ed, “They give a sense of enclosure.”
Japanese maple, pine, serviceberry, cedars and redbuds have been tucked in among the mature trees in the back section.
“The redbuds are my favourites, but we will have hundreds in the future because they do seed,” Boles said. “The area gets quite wet in the spring, the beds include hosta, tiger lily, astilbe, ferns and Joe Pye weed behind the bench.”
A mulched path divides the space, encouraging you to explore.
Boles seems to be pleased with progress: “The fourth dimension of the garden is the time factor, it’s how things change over the years.”
Along the back of the house, burning bush, a pair of Annabelle hydrangeas, tomatoes, basil, and an elegant three-tiered iron fountain create a pretty focal point.
An interesting mix of conifers, deciduous trees, perennials and annuals keep the garden looking good throughout the seasons, “I love the change in textures, there are six different greens just looking across this little section,” Russ explains.
A recessed, circular conversation area, screened with trumpet vine, wisteria and ornamental metal panels was recently updated with a floor of grey stone pavers. A double file viburnum anchors the entrance to this welcoming space, the extra screening adds a little mystery, according to Boles, and works under the walnut tree.
“Yew, hydrangea and lady’s mantle are also holding up under the walnuts.”
A generous shade border lines one side of the back garden.
“Lily-of-the-valley we inherited, along with tiger lilies and hosta and a few shrubs like chokecherry. The rest we’ve added over the years: Japanese painted fern, iris, astilbe, monkshood and Solomon’s seal. It’s mostly foliage with intermittent colour, rudbeckia, daylily, hosta and annual coleus add a splash of light green and yellow.”
Low shafts of evening light stream through the trees giving the border a soft, gentle glow — the feeling is cool and relaxed.
It’s such a pretty night, the Welland River (affectionately known as the creek) mirrors the trees along the shoreline, Boles and I paused on a bench to talk about the garden walk, and the role it plays for the group.
“The hardest part about organizing the garden walk,” Russ said, “this is our 23rd year, is finding enough new gardens and people who want to participate. We’ve found some lovely new gardens, but people are reluctant to participate, either they think that their garden is not good enough, or more often, they value their privacy and don’t want an invasion of 200 to 300 people in their back yard. Some people are afraid it’s too much work. Most of the people on the garden walk like to see the hands-on home gardener, every garden is different … they have character, individual details and highlight the style of that particular owner.”
The Cade garden will be open for the Niagara Falls Horticultural Society’s 23rd annual Garden Walk, today — it’s not too late to pick up a ticket and visit this charming garden, along with six other unique private gardens and the Project SHARE Community Gardens on Thorold Stone Road.
“The tour is fairly compact, there are four gardens in Chippawa, the others are in the Falls, you can start wherever you want.
“The society is all volunteers, and this is our major fundraiser, all money raised goes back into the community: We do the fire hall and armoury beds, and sponsor bursaries for Niagara College and Niagara Parks
School of Horticulture students.”
Tickets are $10 and are available at Mullen Garden Market, Country Basket, Gauld’s Garden Centre or Allen Landscape Supply or at any of the gardens on the tour. It runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. rain or shine. Get out your walking shoes, sunhat and a bottle of water and join in the fun. Hope to see you there.
The Cade residence, a brick and stucco home with a classical Tudor feel, surrounded by stately trees, topiary and wrought iron fencing, overlooking the Welland River in Chippawa will be one of eight gardens featured on the Niagara Falls Horticultural Society’s 23rd annual Garden Walk. A cherub anchors a planting of Japanese painted ferns and hosta in the Cade’s shade border.
A signature weeping Katsura tree, under-planted with hostas and roses, makes a lovely focal point in the Fairbairn garden. The hand crafted bird house was a gift from a neighbour.