Jeff Green | Jul 23, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - July 23, 2009 Cloyne's garden Tour.By Jeff Green
Ladies in straw hats welcomed gardening enthusiasts to the Barrie Hall on July 18 where tea and scones, complete with Devonshire cream and a selection of jams, were being served.
The hall was the starting point for the first ever garden tour sponsored by the Land O' Lakes Garden Club along the lanes of the surprisingly tranquil subdivision that is located behind the hall.
Residents say the Little Pond subdivision was built in the early '70s, and at that time housed mostly teachers from the then new North Addington Education Centre, which is a short walk away.
Carol and Norm Morrow live within sight of the hall and the Pioneer Museum and for 35 years they have been testing plants in beds that hug their home and extend to their backyard. A variety of shrubs complement the lilies and begonias that are at their peak under the mid-July sun.
Rose and Maurice McFadden didn't do much gardening until they sold Cloyne village Foods just three months ago, but they have since made up for lost time. Maurice has been dragging loads of rocks from near and far (rocks are in pretty good supply around Cloyne) to build borders and retaining walls all around their house, and Rose has been filling them in with plants.
Ursula Ossenberg was off at an art show last weekend, so other garden club members welcomed the public to her luxurious gardens, which feature a combination of new perennials and pre-existing wild flowers.
Marlene and Jim Wilson moved to Little Pond Road in 1974. Their gardens have been under development since that time, and have really been the bellwether for their immediate neighbours. It is only in recent years that the neighbours have really taken up the challenge to give Little Pond and Jewell streets the feel of a country garden oasis among the rocks of the shield landscape.
Mary and Jack Kelly only moved to the subdivision five years ago, but since then Mary has been busy constructing flowerbeds and a yard that highlights the lot, setting off the access to Little Pond at the rear.
At Nell and Glenn McFadden's place, over on Jewell Road, Glenn McFadden has been collecting river rocks for years and uses them to set off the ferns, hostas, and herbs that are a feature of their garden.
One of the highlights of the tour was the Pioneer Cemetery, which will also be featured at the Cloyne 150th Anniversary celebrations in a few weeks.
The cemetery was derelict for many years, and when the microburst hit Cloyne almost exactly eight years ago it became a tangled mass of fallen trees just like the rest of the street. Much work has been done by volunteers, township staff and councilors to bring back the site over the past few years, including a major effort by the Cloyne Cadets and local residents in 2004. In 2007 the garden club received a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Kingston to build garden beds. The results have turned the formerly sad graveyard into a source of community pride, amid ongoing efforts to identify the 80 or so people who were buried there as early as 1860.
A bit south of Cloyne on Highway 41 the garden of Elaine and Ken Douglas was also on display. The garden is located on the slope that rises from the highway to the home in which the Douglases have lived for over 30 years. Their garden includes a meandering path to the house and is filled with plants that thrive in adverse light and soil conditions. Elaine spent a lot of time answering questions from her visitors about how she has been able to bring all the different plants she has in her garden to the state of health and beauty they have achieved.
The garden tour will likely return next year because it attracted more attendance than anticipated, making it very worthwhile for the garden club, which has been growing steadily since it was established three years ago.
The Pioneer Cemetery’s refurbishment will be marked during the Cloyne Village 150th anniversary celebrations, which are coming up on August 8 & 9.