Kincardine Horticultural Society garden tour showcases north end of municipality
By Liz Dadson

Home & Garden

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A delightful shade garden at the home of Phil Armstrong and Michelle Lamont in Tiverton is featured during the Kincardine and District Horticultural Society's "Through the Garden Gate" tour Sunday afternoon, July 8

Checking out the beautiful gardens at the home of Barbara Dietrich in Tiverton, are Bernice Cockwell (L) of Atwood (a cottager at Lurgan Beach), and Mary Murr and Maryann Forster of Lurgan Beach, during the garden tour

This gorgeous lakeview garden can be found at the home of Brent and Patty Cowan of Inverhuron

A beautiful flower bed greets visitors to the Inverhuron home of Brent and Patty Cowan

Some of the signature hybridized daylilies at the home of Betty Lamont in Inverhuron

Some beautiful gardens were on display at the north end of the Municipality of Kincardine during the annual "Through the Garden Gate" tour, hosted by the Kincardine and District Horticultural Society Sunday afternoon, July 8.

The focus this year was on gardens in Tiverton, Inverhuron and along the lakeshore in Lake Huron Highlands and at the bottom of the 5th Concession of Kincardine Township.


Michelle Lamont (C) welcomes Sylvia Abbot (L) of Kincardine, Jakkie Simmons (in behind) of Kincardine, and Susan Perry of Cobourg for a tour of the gardens

The gardens of Phil Armstrong and Michelle Lamont on Wickham Street, Tiverton, have come together through trial and error and with the help of Michelle's mother, master gardener Betty Lamont, whose gardens were also included in this year's tour.

The couple has lived in the century home (circa 1892) for 20 years and has developed a series of garden rooms throughout the property, leaving areas of lawn to compliment the gardens.

The large old wood mill (circa 1879), once used to build wooden pump handles, caskets, doors and windows, now houses a workshop, studio and guesthouse. The gardens around it reflect the age and station, with common, tall-standing phlox, daylilies, hostas, hydrangea, bleeding hearts and irises.

The Rusty Garden, near the rear of the building, lies where there was once an old dumping ground for every metal cast-off from the mill's blacksmith shop.

A delightful shade garden has a majestic 85-year-old chestnut tree overshadowing it, providing shade to the coachhouse. A periwinkle path leads people into the shady secret garden and back to the sunny garden with lilacs, mock orange, daylilies, sedum and interesting trees and grasses.

A true country garden surrounds the house and porch, with Boston ferns, a mix of shrubs, hostas and daylilies.

Bev Harris (L) and Stephen Phillips of Kincardine check out the gardens in front of the guesthouse

The coachhouse at the Armstrong-Lamont gardens


Barbara Dietrich's gardens on Paterson Street, Tiverton, feature Wiarton rock pathways which run beside a weeping cypress, spruce trees and an array of ferns that grow underneath

The tranquility of the Zen garden welcomes people to sit and enjoy the mature fruit trees and many different hostas bordering the northside. The white picket fence frames the rose garden and the various perennials collected over the years.

A cedar gazebo at the back of the property faces a private enclosed courtyard. Follow the bridal wreaths that back the property to another courtyard at the side of the house.

Kaye MacDonald (L) and Betty Johnstone of Kincardine check out the Dietrich gardens

The cedar gazebo at the back of the property


The beautiful fountain at St. Andrews Park in Tiverton

Flower beds surround the park bench and light pole looking east in the park

One of the chessboards at the park

A flower bed just west of the main entrance to the park

Also on the tour were the gardens of Tom and Jan Creeden, Albert Street, Inverhuron; Marshall and Wanda Byle on Bruce County Road 15 at Bruce County Road 23, between Inverhuron and Tiverton; Scott and Nancy Telford in Lake Huron Highlands; and Dave and Miriam Barrie on Mitchell Drive.

And an optional visit to St. Andrews Park in Tiverton was included in the tour.


Patty Cowan (C) welcomes Brenda Fisher (L) and Paula Mahood, both of Kincardine, to her spectacular lake vista on Victoria Street, Inverhuron

Brent and Patty Cowan welcome people to their natural lakeside retreat on Victoria Street, Inverhuron.

The terraced gardens were carved out of a cedar forest, with much of the work done in the past seven years. A cottage since 1944, Patty's family purchased it in 1967 and her father built the concrete pathways.

The Cowans, retired teachers from London, bought the property from her parents and have opened up the backyard to create the spectacular lake vista. They added the flagstone patio and stone wall, and the perennial gardens have been developed over the years so they now flourish in the Inverhuron soil (rock, pebbles, cedar humus).

People can relax and enjoy the view of the lake - one of the top 10 sunset locations.

Various handmade animals are hidden in the Cowan gardens

A cedar bench flower bed

Rubbermaid Falls

A new potting bench, built by Brent for Patty


Betty Lamont's cottage garden on John Street, Inverhuron, meanders around three cottages, the landscape ranging from a reconstituted sand dune to deep shade to a naturalized area on the west side.

The mainstays of the garden beds are more than 300 different daylilies which Lamont has hybridized since her retirement, a collection of more than 80 species of hostas and many perennial must-haves.

The maritime mini-climate at the lake has allowed a successful indulgence in more typical southern beauties, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, beautyberry and a magnificent Magnolia tripetala.

Betty Lamont stands beside her Catalpa tree which is in bloom

Many unusual and Carolinian trees are planted throughout. A recent challenge was the removal of an ancient double ash tree which resulted in a quick switch from a shade to a sun garden and the incorporation of "rooftop gardens" by the front door.

Whismical theme gardens, such as the Pisces Garden, the Spirit Garden and the Secret Garden, reflect Lamont's love of art in the garden.

Pisces Garden

Bottle tree in the Spirit Garden

Rooftop Garden with a Japanese raked sand side (L) and a succulent side

The Secret Garden

This Amillary, similar to a sundial, was given to Lamont as a retirement gift

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Friday, July 13, 2012