2018 Highlights

As we are already well into the winter of 2018-19 we start our review of last year by remembering the bizarre winter that ushered in a crazy weather year. We thought winter was over by the end of February


But the snow returned and we were still waiting for spring in early April.


The Gardeners were anxious to get to work but had to wait till May to get started. Before we knew it, the grass was green, there was new growth everywhere and the Parks and Rec staff showed up to clean out the pond.

So now you know what happens to the fish when the pond is pumped out.

After the long wait for spring, Nature is on the fast track to summer and it is a busy time for the gardeners; raking, pruning, dividing perennials and planting annuals after the danger of frost has passed.


Everything needs to be watered in when it is planted or transplanted and sometimes Garden visitors lend us a hand.


By mid June, the hard winter was all but forgotten. Lilacs and irises are tough creatures and are the first summer blooms.


We placed our spring plant order, replaced all the shrubs that had succumbed to the nasty winter and planted a bed of ornamental grasses. It looked pretty awesome when newly planted but could have been twice the size!


The Garden was looking pretty good in mid-July with the flower beds in full bloom, but the heat and drought were already starting to take their toll on the lawn.


The rest of July and August was spent watering. The combination of dedication by the Gardeners, warm (very warm) temperatures and good plant choices (we prefer native species) meant that it was a great summer in the Garden. Here are Liatris and Lobelia blooming in the Habitat Garden in early August.


We like to visit the Artful Garden near Bracebridge each summer and this year we made a big purchase. These three “Poppies” were a great addition to the Campfire Rose bed near the Ranger Cabin. We’ll have to find a more out of reach location for them in the spring, though, as one was bent by someone who may have tried to “pick” it. Fortunately, we took the time to pour concrete bases to secure them to.


The rains returned in late August, the grass turned green again and our Garden returned to its usual late summer magical state.


Our proximity to Georgian Bay means that spring gets a slow start but summer lasts well into fall, and fall tends to be spectacular. Late blooming perennials, flowering ornamental grasses and amazing leaf colour on the trees and shrubs bring our season to a climax.


We had waited all summer long for it to be wet enough to tackle a fun project … the Mud Head. He’s tucked away in a spot only observant visitors will notice. Look for him come spring.


October was not it’s usual glorious, colourful self and it was a pretty nasty day when we wrapped up our gardening season. We have some tough, new recruits who showed up to pull out annuals and tidy up on a day when there were flurries in the air.


Only two weeks later, there was snow on the ground for good.


We kept waiting for a warm spell to put up the lights, and finally had to do it in the snow! One last get together on December 1st to work our magic.


and the year ended as it began … under a blanket of snow.

Anne Bossart