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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
‘It’s gotta be in your blood:’ Green-thumbed neighbours dazzle Shaw garden tour spectators
Wayne and Marlene Penner, along with their pup Ella, were happy to show off their gargoyle-donned garden during Saturday's Shaw Guild Garden Tour. (JULIA SACCO)

With lots of water, sunlight and the help of several master gardeners, the homes at the centre of the 17th-annual Shaw Guild Garden Tour boasted their lush gardens to all ticketholders. 

Of the nine properties on the tour, 48 Colonel Butler Cres. may have had some of the most unique garden spreads.

For Marlene and Wayne Penner, full artistic control was important in their planting process.

“We do it all ourselves,” Marlene Penner told The Lake Report. 

Along with a beautiful wisteria tree, dead nettle and bee balm, the gargoyles featured in nearly every section of the garden were the most important feature to the Penners.

“We are the master gardeners. We like to have full control, because if we didn’t – no gargoyles,” Marlene joked. 

Gardening is a big hobby for the Penners: maintaining such a large garden requires a little bit of work every day. 

“It’s gotta be in your blood,” Wayne Penner said.

“It’s something you have to enjoy because obviously, I don’t let it get ahead of me. If I’m out there mowing and see a weed, I get the weed out,” Marlene added. 

All properties on the tour completed their showings with the help of numerous master gardeners, including the popular 428 Queen St. property.

Diane Turner was one of the two master gardeners who helped identify the species at this home, which included species like mountain fleece, Japanese quince and more. 

Turner has been working with Master Gardeners Niagara for about 20 years, as a way of sharing her passion for gardening as a hobby.

“I’ve always loved gardening: I was a gardener at home,” she said.

Describing the Queen Street property, Turner said the property has “a lot of planting,” including “lovely” specimens like dogwood trees.

“Give it a year, it’s a rather new garden. In a year, it will be incredible,” she said.

There were many more unique gardens part of the tour, like the one at King’s Point Condominium on 215 Ricardo St., which was formed with the help of the condo’s garden committee. 

Music and entertainment were featured at multiple properties, such as singer-songwriters and live paintings. 

All funds raised from ticket sales will go to benefit the Shaw Festival and its functions. 

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