Garden Routes Home – Garden living can be for the birds!


CAPTION: City of Welland rose photographed this morning, June 20, in our side yard rose bed. (All photos by Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large


95th Welland Horticultural Society Rose Show, Saturday, June 21 at Seaway Mall, Centre Court, part of Welland’s Rose Festival.

The show’s theme is the Battle of Cooks Mills. The Battle of Cooks Mills, of course, was part of the War of 1812-14 and is being commemorated here in Welland with a live re-enactment in October.

The  rose show’s design division (arrangements) has five categories, all tied to the historic event:

Birth of a Nation: a small arrangement in a container of your choice, a design from 51/2 inches to 10 inches which must not exceed 10 inches in any direction;

Lyons Creek: a water viewing design ;

Gunfire: a design in a container of your choice;

Celebrating Victory: an arrangement in a container of your choice (including red and white);

Marching Forward: a design suitable for a dining room table arrangement, maximum height 15 inches, accessories/candles permitted.

The instructions call for use of roses and other flowers (at least one rose or more must be included) but florist material cannot be used.

Roses, of course, dominate the horticultural division. Classes include: hybrid tea roses (single rose); miniature roses; climbing roses; floribunda; other varieties; David Austin rose; open class.

Others are: peonies, small hostas, medium hostas, large hostas and display.

Full details are provided on the entry brochure, available at: Main Street library, Vermeers, Wellness Centre; Seaway Mall community booth, Rice Road Greenhouses, Paul’s Garden Centre, Rose Festival office.

Cash prizes are available for first, second and third place entries. A list of special awards – and there are many in this show – is printed on the back of the entry brochure.


Monday, June 23: Evening Garden Walk, Four Gardens in Pelham. Meet at Fonthill Library at 6:30 p.m. for list of gardens. Free for members, non-members $10. Refreshments to follow.



‘Paeonia Bartzella’: You’ve seen peonies in white, pink, mauve. Chances are you have not seen this peony.

Bartzella comes out in breathtaking yellow. It can be the brightest star of any garden, sure to attract attention and even a few ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ Here is one good description, from a perennials website: “Itoh peonies are rare and unusual hybrids between garden peonies and tree peonies. There are several varieties, all highly sought after by collectors, yet easy to grow and very hardy. This selection forms a tall, upright bush of lush green leaves that stand up well into the autumn. The HUGE flowers are double to semi-double, with soft sulphur-yellow petals and a lemony fragrance. A highly regarded selection, outstanding performer.”


“One of the healthiest ways to gamble is with a spade and a package of garden seeds.” – Dan Bennett, author



Some folks say garden living is for the birds.

I’m becoming one of them. Birds do have a way of adding to gardening’s charm – their chatter, their singing, even their lofty hideaways.


Take these bird houses for example. Some are rustic, some have character, some are downright cute. They were photographed at Olde Towne Gardens, a hosta farm in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a getaway that’s well worth a visit on a sunny, summerlike day such as today.

Here’s what I suggest: take flight, do it on a whim, and enjoy the outing.



You may find that garden living can be…for the birds!

 Sunset today, Friday, June 20: 8:54 p.m.

Sunrise tomorrow, Saturday, June 21: 5:13 a.m.

 Next Garden Routes Home: Friday, June 27

(A former reporter and city editor, Joe Barkovich lives in his hometown of Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City.)

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