Garden Tour - June 11, 2019

6:30 - 8:30 pm -- rain or shine

We start our season of tours with a collection rain gardens in the Forest Hill (Westmount/Queens Blvd) area of Kitchener.  Memberships will be processed at property A. 
 
There is a parking lot at property A (St Francis Church). You may want to park there and walk to the properties. Its a 12-15 minute walk not  including the time you spend at each property.
 
The Lakeside area is part of the REEP RainSmart Neighbourhood Project. Click here for more information. Additional gardens may be added to the tour.
 
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A. 49 Blue Ridge Ave - St. Francis Church
To decrease the amount of rain  draining from the roof onto parking lot, St. Francis church put in a rain garden. The path of rocks directs the water to the rain garden.  A mix of sun and shade allows  for a garden of ferns, hostas, black eyed susans and coral bells. In the heart of the rain garden are irises and sedges . A visit in mid May showed a colorful abundance of  red, yellow and white tulips and daffodils.
 
B. 120 Blueridge Ave (front garden)
A maple tree in Lorie's garden  provides shade to the many  bushes in her front yard. Plants include tulips, irises, hostas and goutweed. Edging of the beds is created by large rocks. A rain garden was put in to collect water runoff from roof. Water drains into a basin and path  of rocks. Since it was put in last year, Lorie has watched this the rock basin hold and slowly drain all the rain that Kitchener has experienced this last year. Back yard is under remodeling.
 
C. 122 Lakeside Dr
The owners put in 2 rain barrels to help provide water to their garden. The bed closest to their house includes grape hyacinth, coral bells and several bushes. Flower bed to the right of their pathway includes hostas, tulips and daffodils. To the left of their pathway the owners put in Bloom (in  shade) Box. Plants include Canada anemone, campanula, columbine, foam flower and zig zag goldenrod. Lovely birdbath adds a decorative feature. The owners enjoy their garden from front deck.
Backyard is being redone and may be unable for viewing. 
  
D. 134 Lakeside Dr
Marion installed a rain garden to eliminate  water washing away soil from her flower bed at the front of the house. Her downspout was extended to direct water to run through rocky channel into rain garden Even though the soil in that neighbourhood is fairly sandy, her soil was amended to absorb rain slowly. She added  to the plants that she originally had in her sunny  flower bed.
The Bloom in Box (rain) box from Reep includes blue flag irises ,fox sedges , swamp milkweed ,turtleheads and liatris.  A path at the right side of her house leads to her sunny back yard which looks onto Lakeside Park** . A privet fence, tulip tree, basswood and honeysuckle bush provide privacy . In the spring forget-me-nots and tulips provide color. Later on the phlox, lilies, peonies, bee balm and many other flowers will bloom. Enjoy some refreshments and listen to musicians playing in Marion's garden.
 
E. 73 Gatewood Rd
The front of the house has a flower bed  that contains large rocks, hostas, sedum and evergreen bushes. This bed winds its way on the left of the property into the rain garden feature, Near the house is a beautiful Japanese maple that hides the downspout.  From the downspout is a ribbon of river rock that goes right to the sidewalk. The owners planted Reep's  Boom(in rain) Box that includes milkweed, irises, liatris, chelone and fox sedge. Owners also complement these plants with creeping juniper, hostas , ferns and coral bells.
 
F. 184 Gatewood Road (front garden)
Previous owners had challenge of having downspout pipe going under their front walkway to empty in long narrow  rain garden of river rocks. The attractive long ribbon of river rock has irises, brunnera, sedum, peonies and Japanese maple on one side and coral bells, rudbeckia, sedum, irises and pine tree on the other side. A grassy area with trees provides shade to the garden.
Great example of innovative way of diverting water from running down walkway and driveway.
 
**Lakeside Park (hidden gem in Kitchener)
When Marion found out that I had never seen Lakeside Park , she took me on a guided tour. The park is a popular spot for bird watchers who come to see many warblers before trees are in full leaf. Shoemaker lake, a kettle lake, in the park is home to snapping and painted turtles. To prevent some of the turtles from laying their eggs in the sandy playground, the city put in a beach for the turtles. There is a pollinator area and a structure that attracts barn swallows. Plan to include a stroll in the park which has a paved pathway. 
 

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You must be a current (2019)  member to participate in the tour - we will be processing renewals and new memberships at the tour site. Click here to learn more about the advantages of membership and to download an application form.
 
Note - Everyone on the tour must be a member due to  insurance coverage requirements.