Over the Hedge Garden Tour and Car Rally shows serious gardening at its best.

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 by Edith Cody-Rice

The Over the Hedge Garden Tour and Car Rally, held by the Ottawa Botanical Garden Society was in luck on Sunday June 26. Although rain had been forecast, there were only grey clouds which cleared around noon and revealed a lovely sunny summer day. The tour featured twelve gardens in Kanata, Almonte, Pakenham, White Lake and Arnprior.

Else Geuer in her Almonte garden   Else Geuer inher Almonte Garden 


 
I toured three in Pakenham and three in Almonte and can attest that each was different, a reflection of its owner, and all were lovely. A novice gardener myself, who is surprised at the amount of work it takes to maintain just a so-so garden, I quizzed the garden owners on the amount of time they spend in their yards. Three hours a day was the average and two owners told me that to prepare for the garden tour, they had spent several 8-9 hour days sprucing their plants for display. Serious gardening is not for the faint of heart.

The garden tour was a fundraiser for the Ottawa Botanical Garden Society which is devoted to installing a botanical garden at the Ottawa Central Experimental Farm, a project on the books since the 19th century, but never realized. Organizer Monique Oaks said that about 160 volunteers were involved, but because most tickets were sold by points of sale, it would be sometime before they could tally just how many were purchased and what the net profit may be.

Julian Labreche of Ottawa wrote the Garden Society saying that she had had a wonderful day and that the gardeners were interesting, passionate and pleasant, an experience that reflected my own.

Below you will see pictures of the gardens and some of their owners.

Garden Owner Carol Bean and volunteer Carol Bean and volunteer welcome visitors to her garden

Carol and Brian Bean Garden 
Carol and Brian Bean's Pakenham Garden

Paddye Mann Garden 2 
 

Judy McGrath in her garden Judy McGrath in her Pakenham Garden

Geuer Almonte Garden 2 

Else Geuer's Almonte garden 

Geuer garden 3 

Else Geuer's Almonte garden

 Volunteers Marilyn Campbell and Fran Farquhar at the Vetter GardenMarilyn Campbell and Fran Farquhar volunteer at the Vetter House Garden in Almonte 

Vetter HouseThe Vetter House

 

Vetter garden 4Pat and Frank Vetter's Almonte garden

View from the Vetter GardenView from the Vetter House Garden.

Carol Neumann 
Almonte gardener Carol Neumann

Gudrun Boyce