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Welcome to the Gardens of Fenelon Falls!
For over 100 years the Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society has lovingly planned, planted and maintained wonderful gardens to beautify the local area. The gardens reflect the commitment and dedication of the Horticultural Society but also the incredible community spirit found in Fenelon Falls. Throughout the years, the Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society has partnered with a number of organizations including Maryboro Lodge: the Fenelon Museum, the Chamber of Commerce, Kawartha Conservation and the City of Kawartha Lakes Parks and Recreation, along with a number of local businesses.
In addition to beautification, many of the gardens tell a story. Whether it is the amazing quantity of vegetables grown in the Victory Garden to help fight hunger, the ecological benefit found in the Rain Garden, or the education of youth in the Community Garden, these gardens reveal a commitment to improving the environment and people’s lives. Fenelon Falls is truly fortunate to have such an active horticultural society.
We hope you enjoy exploring our community’s gardens!
(Butterfly Benches by Dan Burnie; The Rain Garden by Randall Speller)
On Water Street, facing the canal, is the Chamber of Commerce building where tourists can access information about Fenelon Falls. These gardens welcome visitors to Fenelon with the largest known hosta, “Empress Wu”, as well as many sun-loving perennials including shasta daisies, echinacea, monarda, and hydrangeas. On the shady side are astilbe, native foamflowers and heuchera.
(Daisies; The Chamber Garden by Gail McFadden)
Many love to walk along the canal admiring the boats tied at the wall or travelling through the lock. Here the narrow border, appropriately called the Canal Garden, is filled with Stella D’Oro daylilies. Various plants are used in this garden year after year that are both beautiful and help to reduce maintenance.
(The Canal Garden by Dan Burnie)
Many visitors look for the distinctive two large rocks in the shape of a sailboat that mark the entrance to Fenelon Falls from the water. These rocks, located in the sailboat garden, make a wonderful backdrop for visitors and locals who want to be photographed with the “Fenelon Falls” sign. The main plantings here are groundcover roses and spirea complemented with echinacea, fall asters, lamb’s ears and thrifts.
(The Sailboat Garden by Maddy Warlow, The Sailboat Garden by Barb Hanneman)
The Rain Garden, located between Maryboro Lodge and the canal on Cameron Lake, is the largest and one of the most interesting of all the gardens. It was created to reduce the impact of water run-off. This garden was designed to restore groundwater by capturing and filtering the rainwater that flows from the surrounding roads, driveways, parking lots and roof-tops. This area flooded before the Rain Garden existed allowing excess water to flow directly into Cameron Lake. To create the garden, a shallow basin was excavated, filled with porous sandy soil and planted with native flowers, grasses, and shrubs. Both the soil and the plants filter the run-off water, while the deep roots of native plants also absorb water and nutrients well. Some examples in this garden include bayberry, highbush cranberry, meadow rose, ninebark, red-osier dogwood, snowberry, St. John’s wort, little bluestem, aster, cardinal flower, echinacea, hyssop, marsh marigold, monarda, rudbeckia, and turtlehead. The addition of wood-chip mulch and stones slows the water and prevents soil erosion.
(The Rain Garden by Maddy Warlow, The Rain Garden by Marilyn Britt)
With its dramatic backdrop of Cameron Lake and butterfly benches, the Arrowhead Garden, aptly named because of its shape, can’t help but draw the eye. The daffodils planted here announce “Spring” every year to those using the rail trail and the other plantings, angelica, aster, baptisia, daisy, liatris, autumn joy sedum and rosy glow stonecrop, have their “showtimes” as the seasons progress.
(The Arrowhead Garden by Maddy Warlow)
Built originally by the City of Kawartha Lakes years ago, the Triangle Garden is known for the large stone in the middle. Plantings here include dianthus, heuchera, hydrangea, Joe-pye weed, lady’s mantle, lavender, pearly everlasting, salvia and Russian sage. With its variety of groundcovers, grasses and flowers, this garden not only provides striking visual diversity, it also provides habitat to a wide range of insects and pollinators.
(The Triangle Garden by Maddy Warlow, The Triangle Garden by Ellie Arscott)
Front Porch Garden
One of the most recent gardens taken over by the Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society is the Front Porch Garden along the front of the Museum. In keeping with the role of the museum to illuminate our past, perennial plantings here reflect the long history of gardening in the area and include bergenia, bleeding heart, catmint, creeping phlox, euphorbia, feverfew, heliopsis, fairy roses and yarrow.
(The Front Porch Garden by Maddy Warlow, The Front Porch Garden by Rosemarie Condon)
Along the Victoria Rail Trail, on the lake side of the Museum, you will see the appropriately named Pump Garden. The surrounding benches make this a popular resting and meeting place. In keeping with the theme of ever-flowing water, the flowers in the Pump Garden, calendula, cosmos, feverfew, gloriosa daisies and snapdragons, are self-seeding, flowering on from year to year, allowing nature to take its course.
(The Pump Garden by Maddy Warlow; The Pump Garden by Valerie Lowell)
The Schoolhouse Garden includes three gardens on the side and back of the old School House at the Museum. These gardens have plantings of Annabelle hydrangeas, peonies and different varieties of hostas.
(The Schoolhouse Garden by Dan Burnie)
The Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society partners with Maryboro Lodge: The Fenelon Museum to grow more than 900 lbs of fresh produce in the Victory Garden for local Food Banks. This beautiful spot behind the museum was named to commemorate and honour the Victory Gardens grown during World Wars I and II. At that time vegetable gardens popped up throughout transformed parklands and backyards to support the war effort and produce fresh produce. The actual growing surface in the garden totals 872 square feet, averaging 0.95 lbs of produce per square foot. In order to maximize production without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the Victory Garden uses sustainable gardening techniques, particularly Square Foot Gardening and Crop Rotation (both described in the section entitled “Gardening in Fenelon Falls”). One key technique is the rainwater collection system which supplies a continuous source of untreated water to the garden.
(The Victory Garden by Barb Hanneman)
Located near Garnet Graham Beach Park, the prominent feature in this garden is the “Kedging Anchor” circa 1840 which was raised from Cameron Lake in 1993. This garden now has serviceberry, sedum, grasses, Russian sage, spirea and other specimen plants that combine to form a beautiful and unusual context for this historical artifact.
(The Anchor Garden by Maddy Warlow)
Maple Leaf Garden
Created to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Maple Leaf Garden was a collaboration of the Horticultural Society, the City of Kawartha Lakes and a local craftsman. This garden is planted with masses of annuals each year. Previously, wax begonias in red and white filled the design, while a new hybrid of multi-coloured snapdragons made a splash of colour in 2021. Each segment in the maple leaf pattern represents a Canadian province or territory; when planted they represent the vibrancy and diversity of our country.
(The Maple Leaf Garden by Dan Burnie)
With its harmonious pattern of planting heights, foliage colours and perfectly spaced plants, the Reflection Garden is referred to by many as “my favourite garden.” The perfect place for contemplation, the garden contains purple smoke bush, little quick fire hydrangea, rosy glow berberis, creeping phlox, bleeding hearts, daylilies and many spring bulbs. The relationship of these plants conveys an overall impression of living art - a very relaxing, soothing experience.
(Tulips in Reflection Garden by Maud Skoog)
Queen's Jubilee Garden
The Queen’s Jubilee Garden is a beautiful, large, half-circle garden built in 2002 to commemorate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. The building of this garden was a community effort and included local students. In 2021, it received a major facelift; it now includes black chokeberry, cranesbill geranium, daisies, dwarf lilacs, grasses, hummingbird summersweet, liatris and roses in a pleasing design.
(The Queen's Jubliee Garden by Dan Burnie)
Veterans Memorial Peace Park has a special place in everyone’s heart on Remembrance Day, but all summer long the circle gardens grace the park with their beautiful annual plantings. Canna lilies, purple fountain grass, zinnias, and super petunias provide a striking variety of colour and foliage from spring to fall. Since these beds are filled with annuals, they provide an opportunity for creativity each year.
(The Circle Garden by Dan Burnie)
The Terrace Gardens are an example of how the Horticultural Society reclaimed overgrown garden areas and planted beautiful flowers and shrubs for all to enjoy. This has been an ongoing endeavour of the society throughout its 100-year history. In 1937, the Fenelon Falls Gazette mentioned that the Horticultural Society and the business men’s association asked council for help “to beautify the bank on the north side of the wharf.”
The Upper Tier has been cleared of overgrown bushes and replanted with drought tolerant Annabelle hydrangea, nightglow firefly honey-suckle and dropmore scarlet honeysuckle vine selected for their continuous bloom.
The boxwood hedge spelling out the name “Fenelon Falls” was planted to mark Canada’s 125th anniversary in 1992. Situated between the upper and lower tier gardens, it is 60 feet long and 17 feet wide and remains a landmark in the community.
The Lower Tier Garden was renovated by the Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society in 2018. A variety of shrubs and perennials, including butterfly weed, cranesbill geranium, grasses, hostas, Korean dwarf lilacs and roses have created an inviting setting to watch the boats going through the lock. In 2019 the overgrown junipers and the old uneven stairs were removed and replaced with inviting wide stone steps and a new railing. Native northern bush honeysuckle and nightglow firefly honeysuckle fill the space between the stairs and the creek.
(The Lower Tier Garden by Dan Burnie)
The Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society maintains three beautiful gardens on the eastern tip of the island, between Fenelon Falls and the lock. With the roar of the falls in the background, the Gorge Garden is a fine counterpoint to the dramatic views of the gorge on either side of the river. The bold plantings of lilacs, panicum grasses, fairy and knock-out roses, smoke bushes, echinacea and monarda provide dramatic colour from spring into fall for those who venture down the hill of the island.
It is only fitting that when the Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society reclaimed the Slope Garden, it was planted with native plants including aster, echinacea, heliopsis, hyssop, monarda, pearly everlasting, rudbeckia and turtlehead. If you close your eyes, you can imagine that the native pollinators buzzing around in this self-seeding and natural context are the same as those droning against the backdrop of the falls hundreds of years ago.
(The Slope Garden by Dan Burnie)
The Lock Garden provides a stunning entrance to the island by the falls, creating a lovely transition from the busy-ness of the road to the roar of the falls. It contains a host of beautiful plants including amur maple, hydrangeas, dwarf lilacs, berberis, spirea, weigela, grasses plus echinacea, fall asters, hyssop, monarda, sedum, tickseed and a lot of spring bulbs, all of which provide continuous bloom and habitat for the many pollinators that inhabit the island.
(The Lock Garden by Donna Bisschop)
The Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society has been mentoring youth for many years. Local young people are engaged in the complete operation of a Community Garden, growing food from seed to harvest for several food banks in the area.
Early in the spring, many students at Langton Public School and Fenelon Falls Secondary School are supplied seed, soil (donated by Home Hardware) and planting trays to start growing seedlings. Once the plants are viable, they are then transplanted into community garden plots at both Langton P.S. and St. James Church. With guidance from teachers and Horticultural Society members, students learn many things like reading seed packs, measuring space in the gardens for planting, and proper harvesting times. While caring for the gardens they discover what good planting conditions are and whether a certain plant grows better with direct or indirect sunlight. When school ends in June, the School Age Program at the Fenelon Langton Child Care Center, along with students from the Green Team and Eco Club, continue the work of watering, weeding and picking the vegetables to be delivered to the food bank. From seed to someone’s table!