The cherry blossoms weren’t at their peak by the time we came. Someone mentioned that with all the wind and rain they didn’t last as long this year.
There were also three different colors of Eastern Redbud blooming. It is considered a native species because of one recorded observation on the south end of Pelee Island in 1892 by the Canadian botanist John Macoun. The species name, canadensis, is the Latin form of Canadian.
The Starburst magnolias are definitely our new favorites. This species was introduced to the United States in 1862 by Dr. George Robert Hall. It comes from the Ise Bay area of central Honshū, Japan’s largest island. It has a much more delicate flower that some of the other larger, showy, pink blooms.
There are also two lovely sycamore trees that have huge branches dipping down and touching the ground. This American sycamore is from the 1940’s when the arboretum was opened.
There is a sycamore tree in Windsor that is 225 years old, with branches that are 120 years old. It has been recognized as an Ontario Heritage Tree. Some sycamores have been known to live 500-600 years.
Forests Ontario has an interactive map where you can search Heritage Trees all over Ontario.
We weren’t really sure what to expect when we went to the Rock Garden today. We knew that it had been made in an abandoned quarry and it reminded me of a book I read when I was a teenager. It was a mystery, I think, and there was a house or estate built in a similar abandoned quarry – maybe an Agatha Christie or something like that. If anyone remembers please leave a comment.
Anyhow, this no longer abandoned quarry is lovely and surprising and has the most delightful little paths leading you to secret places. We found some children hiding in a “cave”, their mother said it was their favorite spot in the garden.
There was no water yet in the waterfalls or river. I’m sure it will be splendid when it gets going.
There are also the most incredible European Beeches near the parking lot. They are old, and wrinkly, and remind me of elephant legs, and they’re beautiful.
The cherry trees were also blooming but it wasn’t the best light to capture them.
Through the Cherry HIll Gate opens the Hendrie Valley Trail system. Everything is still overwintering but there are plenty of birds, squirrels and chipmunks around. Make sure you bring some seed because they will come and eat from your hand. Unfortunately we didn’t have any.
We did find some signs of spring in a patch of early snowdrops.
The Hendrie Park Gates – surrounding the South end of the Scented Garden – were constructed in recognition of the Hendrie family, who previously owned the lands on which the garden now sits. The fountain isn’t yet in working order but it’s still a lovely spot.
Another waterfall we’ve explored along the Bruce trail is Felker’s Falls.
The Peter Street Trail is a wheelchair accessible loop trail which winds through the conservation area. It was named after Peter Street who had a rare congenital bone disease that caused him to suffer numerous bone fractures when he was a boy and led to him having to use a wheelchair. He died at the age of 46 in 1984.
On Orleans Island, 15 minutes east of Quebec City, there is a lovely walking trail from Espace Felix Leclerc down towards the river.
It commemorates the life of songwriter, poet and playwright Felix Leclerc.
The trail may not be for everyone because there are some steeper parts.
You begin in a field, basically, where they are starting an arboretum. After this sunny stretch you reach the shade of the escarpment. The path here is steep taking you down to another plateau. This plateau is partly in sunny field and then enters the old growth forest. Many trees are marked to help you learn more about the local flora. There is still another terrace down before you get to the St Lawrence but the path ends before that. You can continue, but, the paths quickly ends in swamp.
Even thought its cold out there are still some lovely hikes around Binbrook area. We went again to our favorite spot in behind Southbrook Drive. The amount of footprints, both person, and dog, indicate that many other people enjoy this trail too.