Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Maplelawn Historical Garden

Maplelawn Historical Garden
Hidden Gem in Ottawa:
A classical French garden layout, planted like an English cottage
garden and surrounded with a 2m high wall. The manor in this
garden resembles British classicism, houses the Keg Steakhouse
and Bar, featuring a quiet backyard patio in summer and is next
to the busy Richmond Rd, next to the Westboro "Village", a
popular shopping and restaurant district. I drove by hundreds ot
times and never stopped before - until today!

In the 19th century, there were many fine houses in Ontario - but few of
them were graced by walled gardens, and even fewer have survived.
The walled garden at Maplelawn in Canada's capital, is not only a rare
example, but it is also exceptionally well preserved.

In 1989, Maplelawn was designated a national historic site by the
Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada because of : "...the
quality of the house, but more particularly because its gardens are the
best preserved of the few known surviving examples of early 19th
century walled gardens in Canada..." As an ensemble, the house and
remaining walled garden provide a clear record of the way European
architectural and landscape ideas were transplanted to Canada.
In 1993, the garden was receiving only basic maintenance until a
volunteer group, known as Friends of Maplelawn Garden, was formed.
These volunteers entered into an agreement with the National Capital
Commission (NCC) to study, preserve and rehabilitate the walled
garden, making use of the large variety of perennials, such as the old
peonies for which the garden was once famous, still thriving within its
Situated along Richmond Road (opened in 1818), Maplelawn was
established in 1831 by William Thompson, a Scottish immigrant.
Maplelawn was successively owned by three families: the Thompson,
the Cole and the Rochester (related by marriage to the Coles), all
leading families in the community who participated in its political,
agricultural and business life. All three families had a special interest
in the garden and expended considerable effort to keep it well cultivated and in luxuriant flower.

Almost from the beginning and well into the 1980's, Maplelawn Garden
was the glory of the neighborhood.
(from the Maplelawn website)