Garden Tour

Yards shine during Garden Tour, weather does not



By Ron Giofu


Despite some raindrops, the Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society was able to showcase ten gardens around town.

Nine of the ten gardens this year were contained within the urban area of the town with one being in the rural area, on County Road 18 just east of Howard Ave. Garden owners and garden lovers who braved the weekend rain were able to swap stories, advice and helpful hints on how they can maintain, grow and expand their own gardens.

Dr. Allan Halowski, president of the Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society, thanked the homeowners on this year’s tour as he presented them with a membership to the society and an orchid on behalf of the board of directors. He said society members Marjan Drop and Paulette Drouillard helped find the gardens on this year’s tour.

“For things like this to happen, it takes a lot of time and effort,” stated Halowski.

Garden lovers get a tour of a Thorn Ridge Cr. backyard last Saturday as part of the 33rd annual Garden Tour.

The gardens were impressive, he believed, and gave other gardeners food for thought. He said it was “inspiring” to see the work of other garden owners.

“I thought the gardens this year were great in the sense that it showed the individual creativity of the yard owners we visited,” he said.

Halowski said that, in many cases, the yards took years to develop and he said they were “extremely appreciative” that the homeowners opened their yards and shared their efforts and lives with the public.

“Every year, I’m surprised by the quality of the yards we visit. They are phenomenal,” he said.

Ron and Karen Sinclair came from Chatham to take part in the Garden Tour. Karen said she saw it online when researching what to do in the region.

“So far, it’s pretty amazing,” Ron said, when asked in the Crown Ridge Blvd. stop on the tour. “Everything is pretty well perfect.”

Neighbours Dodie Pye and Veronica & Julian Kirk were part of the 2018 Garden Tour.

Karen said “everything is very well maintained” and said the white picket fence at the Bathurst St. home they visited reminded her husband of his grandmother’s property. She added she had been on the Garden Tour before, but not for a few years.

One of the things that caught Ron’s eye was the use of yard ornaments.

“Everybody has their own thing they like to do with the ornaments,” he said. “I’m impressed by that.”

A total of ten backyard treasures were discovered on last weekend’s Garden Tour, but weather weather literally damped the event.

It was the 33rd annual event and it ran both last Saturday and Sunday. Horticultural society board member Maxine Iler stated they sold 135 tickets, a drop from previous years due to weather, but added they were grateful to the people that did turn out as the weather wasn’t ideal.

Iler added there is not a Garden Tour planned for next year, as plans now call for it to run every other year.

Horticultural Society, visitors enjoy “excellent” Garden Tour


By Ron Giofu


The 32nd annual Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society (AFMHS) Garden Tour was held on the weekend and the final verdict is a positive one.

“I thought it was an excellent Garden Tour,” said AFMHS president Dr. Allan Halowski. “I thought all of the gardens this year were absolutely unique and breathtaking. All of the gardens were very, very spectacular.”

A wide variety of gardens were on display during the 32nd annual Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society Garden Tour. It was held last Friday night and Saturday.

A wide variety of gardens were on display during the 32nd annual Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society Garden Tour. It was held last Friday night and Saturday.

Ten private gardens were featured on this year’s tour with all but one of them being in either the former Anderdon or Malden townships. Lot sizes differed and ranged from subdivision style lots to more rural themes. The tour ran Friday evening and all-day Saturday.

“You got to see all of the different types of lifestyles of the gardeners,” said Halowski. “It was great.”

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Halowski said he received positive feedback from people on the tour. He credits the gardeners and volunteers for their efforts, and presented gifts to members of the horticultural society’s executive during a VIP reception Saturday night.

“It’s not a magical thing that just happened,” he said of the Garden Tour, noting a lot of work goes into finding the private gardens and maintaining the public gardens. He thanked the private gardeners for their hard work in maintaining their own lands.

Halowski added that “the process begins today for next year.”

Attendance was down this year with roughly 243 people attending the Garden Tour but Halowski believes there are a lot of events in the same boat. He said there are so many different events that it takes away from other events.

“The weather was conducive to being good this year,” he said.

Greg and Lisa Cavers visited Amherstburg for the tour and the Kingsville residents liked what they saw.

“It’s been awesome so far,” said Lisa. “I just love how individual the gardens are. There’s a lot of thought behind it.”

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Greg added there are small and large lots and that gave the show variety. He added the Garden Tour was well run.

Lisa added that “it’s been a while” since they had been to the Garden Tour but “we’re glad we came.”

Heather and Paul Jones, also of Kingsville, said it was their first time on the tour and they were looking for ideas for their own garden.

“We’re just happy to be here,” said Paul. “It’s helpful to see what others have done and what is possible.”

There was a contrast between gardens, Heather added.

“You are getting a good variety,” she added. “There are options to see at each one.”

Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society presents 32nd annual Garden Tour June 16-17


By Jolene Perron


The Amherstburg Horticultural Society, in cooperation with The House Youth Centre and the Town of Amherstburg, will host the 32nd Annual Garden Tour June 16-17.

Aligning with National Garden Days, this self-guided tour features 12 private gardens paired with artisans & musicians for a beautiful weekend in the ‘Burg!

“In a world of turmoil and hustle, getting lost in the beauty of Amherstburg is like a breath of fresh air.” adds Dr. Allan Halowski, president of the Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society.

(Photo by Danica Skakavac)

(Photo by Danica Skakavac)

Halowski said one of his goals since he became president of the AFMHS was to encourage young people to become involved in the society. The hope is that “it might spark interest with the youth and help them develop some new skill sets. Secondly many of our projects for the town of Amherstburg require man power and the youth again have the numbers. We also want to help the youth centre and that is why a percentage of the ticket sales will go directly to the House.”
Halowski added: “This will be our 32nd Garden Tour and it really is a testament to the pride the citizens of Amherstburg take in keeping their yards a most beautiful environment but then to share their masterpieces with all who would like to come and see.”
There were approximately 350 participants to the tour last year, he added.

“It would be great to have 450 plus go through the tour this year,” he said. “You may be aware that the money we raise goes back into the community. Last year, we contributed $3,500 to the town’s hanging basket program.”

AFMHS vice president Paulette Drouillard has scoured the community and convinced ten citizens to display their yards. Many of the homes will also have people who have related items for sale.

“Also, we will have a master gardener on the tour to answer questions for those wishing council or advice,” said Halowski.

(Photo by Danica Skakavac)

(Photo by Danica Skakavac)

“The Garden Tour is a well-respected event in our region, and our youth are honored and excited to help out”, says Rebecca Vander Vaart, activities co-ordinator at The House Youth Centre. “Here at The House, we put a huge emphasis on community involvement, and our students are on board anytime they get to work with another community group or event. The Garden Tour is such a respected event in Amherstburg, and our youth are honoured and excited to help out.”

Manager of tourism and culture Anne Rota said “garden tourism is alive and well in Amherstburg” and that the public gardens are worth a visit during the Garden Tour or during the summer.

“The Garden Tour is one of our premier events for the Town of Amherstburg. It draws visitors from all over Essex County but more importantly, the pride in the personal gardens and the beautiful beds that the Town of Amherstburg parks staff prepare for the tour are spectacular,” said Rota. “We are blessed with amazing temperatures in Amherstburg and our community is a garden of Eden for all to enjoy! We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated committee to coordinate the tour!”

The tour hours on June 16 are 4 p.m.-8 p.m. and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 17. Tickets $12 per person with pre-sales at the Gordon House, 268 Dalhousie St.. Tickets will also be available on tour days at Toddy Jones Park.


Horticultural society presenting annual Garden Tour June 17-18

The Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society in cooperation with the Town of Amherstburg will once again host the 31st annual Garden Tour on Friday, June 17 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, June 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Aligning with National Garden Days, this self-guided show features 12 magnificent, private gardens.

A garden at the corner of Park St. and Sandwich St. South was enjoyed during the 2015 Garden Tour. This year's tour is June 17-18.

A garden at the corner of Park St. and Sandwich St. South was enjoyed during the 2015 Garden Tour. This year’s tour is June 17-18.

New this year, the tour also includes a photo contest and informative Garden Walking Tours of the Kings Navy Yard Park guided by Amherstburg’s very own Manager of Parks, Greenspaces and Naturalized Areas. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased on the day of the tours at Toddy Jones Park.
“Garden Tourism is alive and well in Amherstburg. The public gardens are stupendous and we are excited to offer the Garden Walking Tours during and beyond the show dates. The walking tours will focus on growing tips, species and more!” says Anne Rota, manager of tourism and culture.

“In a world of turmoil and hustle, getting lost in the beauty of Amherstburg is like a breath of fresh air.” adds Dr. Allan Halowski, president of the Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society.