Four homes in Aylmer and area put on a fine festive show on Friday and Saturday as their owners graciously invited visitors to come inside and check out their holiday décor during the 11th Annual Christmas Tour of Homes.
The St. Thomas Horticultural Society presented their Annual Rose & Flower Show Saturday June 23rd with hundreds of blooms on display in both simple and elaborate arrangements. The show at Monsignor Morrison Catholic School in St. Thomas was themed “Under the Big Top”.
It’s twenty years since Pat and Mary Muscat opened Sparta Country Candles & Anything Used. Pat remembers the day they took possession of their store, “Mary looked at me and said 'what if nobody ever comes'?” He is able to look back now and laugh because people did indeed come - many to return regularly to the popular Sparta shop.
Visitors to the store love to ramble about the treasures found throughout two floors of the historic 1838 building, and to pick up their favourite Sparta Country Candles, from refreshing “April Showers” to rich “Spartaberry” (their signature candle scent). Adding to the charm, visitors are always greeted warmly at the front door, with the best kind of welcome – a sample of creamy fudge.
Canadale Nursery was bursting this past weekend (March 23 -26) with products, information and gardening tips galore. The nursery hosted several local landscaping services, artisans, and other organizations to present a weekend of displays, seminars and activities for gardeners, kids and those just interested in learning about some interesting community organizations.
Mark Girdauskas photgraphed the vibrant colours of Canadale's new stock, and some of the many participating organizations and businesses (check out the slide show below).
The Annual St. Thomas Horticultural Society Garden Tour on Sunday July 10th featured seven gardens of varying sizes and styles. Gardeners opened their yards (6 in St. Thomas, 1 near Sparta) to share with the public on a beautiful summer day.
Above: Linda Bolton's has developed a shady, winding garden oasis in her back yard on Wellington Street. Sections of the garden create a private oasis, while sections at the back of the garden can be enjoyed by both the Bolton's and their neighbours.
Above: More of Bolton's gardens overflowing with interesting plants, including the front entranceway.
Above: Volunteers Nancy Baker and Cheryl Jermyn (top left) greeted visitors to a Metcalfe Street "outdoor room" garden. The smaller rear garden is a classic example of using flowers and furniture to create an intimate outdoor living space
Above: The unique front garden of this Isabel Street home welcomes, while backyard dining and bar areas invite visitors to stay awhile.
Above: A Cottonwood Drive garden wraps around the house leading to backyard sitting and garden areas which have worked composting, rain barrel, and space for vegetables attractively amongst flower beds (top three photos). Owners of a Havenridge Court home have used stone and paving to enhance their plantings (bottom left). A smaller garden on Woodworth offers example of including what enchants the gardener in a small site with the fairies throughout (two photos on bottom right).
Above: One of the tour gardens was located on Yarmouth Centre Road (between Sparta Line and Fruit Ridge Line). Extensive gardens surround the house in the country location, setting off the home and offering beautiful spots to dine, sit or wander.
Above: Scenes from the Yarmouth Centre Rd garden. Gardener Dave Greaves and one of the tour organizers, Diane Vaughan (top right).
The St. Thomas District Horticultural Society holds public meetings featuring informative speakers and interesting demonstrations, 7:30pm on the fourth Wednesday of the month from September to November and January to May at the Monsignor Morrison Catholic School, 10 South Edgeward Road, St. Thomas. An Annual Plant Sale is held in May at the Horton Farmers' Market and The Annual June Flower Show features roses, perennials, and floral designs.