16.5 C
Niagara Falls
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Backyard beauty on display in 17th annual Shaw Garden Tour
Brian Carberry tends to one of the many trees on his Colonel Butler property which will be featured in the upcoming Shaw Guild Garden Tour on June 24. (Julia Sacco)

Fourteen years ago, 19 Colonel Butler Cres. was a far cry from the Tudor-style getaway that it is today. 

After Brian Carberry and his partner Jan Van Haren bought the property in the Garrison village neighbourhood, they began the long process of revitalizing the land to its current glory, which you can view first-hand during the upcoming Shaw Guild Garden Tour.

“When we purchased the house, we removed 36 trees. The backyard was a giant forest, with a dirt bottom and no grass,” said Carberry. 

Aside from house expansions and tree-clearing, Carberry and Van Haren have created an oasis in their backyard, with an expansive and varying garden.

Carberry said from April to mid-May, as well as in the fall months, the gardening work is intense.

“We need to get mulched and get the gardens covered. After that, it’s fairly easy, (tending) about once a week.”

All of his hard work does not go unrewarded, though.

Guests at this property, which operates as a bed and breakfast under the name Ranger’s Retreat, are treated to breakfast each morning, made with fresh ingredients from the garden.

“Rhubarb likes a lot of sun,” said Carberry, gesturing to a pot sitting in direct sunlight.

“I serve it for breakfast. Our guests get roughly 14 different types of fresh fruit.”

Ranger’s Retreat will be featured in the 17th annual Shaw Guild Garden Tour on Saturday, June 24, along with eight other unique gardens around Niagara-on-the-Lake. 

“We’re very proud this year. That is a very diverse group of properties,” said Jo Ann Ely, the Shaw Guild’s marketing convener.

“It ranges from condo-type gardens, all the way up to an estate garden on Queen Street and most of the gardens have unique flowers. You’ll see some modern gardens and you’ll see some traditional gardens.”

Along with the usual festivities, the garden tour will include entertainment on each property, ranging from artists to musicians.

“It’s nice. People can take their time and meander through the garden and head to the next. People come for the day, visit Niagara, make lunch plans, visit a winery. You have the whole day, so it is really nice,” said Ely.

For tickets to the garden tour, visit Shawguild.ca/garden-tour. Or pay $35 cash on the day of the tour.

Subscribe to our mailing list