Brief summer shower does not deter attendance at Garden Tour
By Liz Dadson

Home & Garden

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Mary Faubert (L) welcomes Anne Eadie of Kincardine and Betty Morrison of Huntsville, to her backyard gardens on Gordon Street, during the Kincardine Horticultural Society's garden tour Sunday afternoon

Bob Hogan (R) gives Margaret Benvenuto (L) and Donna Thacker, both of Kincardine, a tour of the gardens in his backyard on Shevchenko Boulevard, during the tour

A view of the backyard at the home of Bob and Eileen Hogan

 A delightful backyard garden at the home of Bob and Eileen Hogan

The front gardens at the home of Duncan and Sandy Elston on Shevchenko Boulevard

One of the backyard gardens at the Elstons' home

Katherine McFadden (L) and Judith Bond, both of Kincardine, chat with homeowner Sandy Elston in her backyard gardens, during the garden tour

The gardens along the driveway at the home of Peter and Patti Richards on Princes Street North

The Richards' backyard

Melissa Letkeman (L) of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and her mother, Sharon Douglas, of Kincardine, check out the front yard gardens at the home of Malcolm and Annette MacDonald on Princes Street North

A pond is the main attraction in the backyard gardens at the MacDonalds' home

A brief summer shower Sunday afternoon did not dampen the spirits of the crowd that turned out for the Kincardine Horticultural Society's annual "Through the Garden Gate" garden tour.

Held rain or shine, the event opened eight gardens to the public, with horticultural members playing host and welcoming people to the many beautiful outdoor settings.


Mary Faubert's home on Gordon Street, is a quaint arts and crafts-style house, surrounded by flower beds reminiscent of English cottage gardens. All the plants are perennials and quite accustomed to being moved according to her whim.

She has a secret garden room not visible from the front curb which welcomes visitors with a shaded patio, water fountain, recycled art and established plant beds and vines.

The clematis frames the large front verandah, wisteria lives on a side trellis, and Faubert is currently experimenting with moss.

The sprawling clematis frames the large front verandah at the home of Mary Faubert


When Bob and Eileen Hogan first moved to their home on Shevchenko Boulevard in 1978, they had little time for gardening. However, in 1998, they created their first very small garden and gradually, they learned more about gardening and garden design through local courses, workshops and much reading.

Over the next 10 years, the gardens rapidly grew as they experimented with new ideas. They try to keep the workload to a minimum with perennials, and have added more and more shrubs.

Their goal has always been to create a relaxing setting for friends and family with still some space left for the grandchildren to run and explore.

A beautiful hydrangea in the front garden at the home of Bob and Eileen Hogan

A garden leading to the backyard at the Hogans' home


Duncan and Sandy Elston have an ever-changing mature garden. When they bought the home in December, 1984, the yard had a few gardens mostly full of periwinkle, lily of the valley, raspberry cane scattered with a few perennials.

Since then, the yard and gardens have grown and continually changed and evolved. What once was a circular rose garden in the front yard has now become a vegetable garden that provides an abundance of fresh produce.

A side garden has changed from domestic grasses to ornamental grasses. At the edge of a large pressed concrete patio, an antique bathtub, with original working showerhead, fills the backyard sanctuary with the sound of falling water.

The landscape now has more shrubs, lots of mulch and non-spreading plants, providing the Elstons with more time to relax in the hot tub and enjoy the tranquility the yard provides.

A bathtub, with a working showerhead, is featured in the Elstons' backyard

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Peter and Patti Richards purchased their Princes Street home in the fall of 2011 and have substantially renovated the garden. They removed seven trailer loads of ground cover, stumps, vines and weeds to find many treasures which hadn't seen the light of day in years.

They transplanted many plants to more suitable conditions, divided ornamental grasses and laid 6,000 pounds of flagstone and curbstone to form pathways from which to garden and enjoy the final result.

Visitors pick Saskatoon berries at the Richards'

Pathways at the Richards' home

An alcove in the Richards' gardens


The delightful gardens of Malcolm and Annette MacDonald are best described as a labour of love and a love of labour.

Malcolm "Mac" does the majority of the gardening and has created a magnificent respite of colour, variety and whimsy.

The most prominent features are the pond in the backyard surrounded by shrubs, and the walkways along which the MacDonalds urge people to meander and check out the many different and rare flowers and plants.

And don't forget to take the time to trek (or sway) down the drunkard's path, central to the south garden.

Malcolm MacDonald (in the sunglasses) welcomes visitors to walk through the sideyard gardens

The north boulevard at the MacDonalds' home

The other gardens on the tour were at the homes of David and Sylvia Leigh, Mike and Denise Tighe, and Anthony and Eva Leonard.

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Tuesday, July 09, 2013