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Paths meander through mass plantings, gardens and water features.


The rock garden first opened in 1932. Construction began in late 1929 — just a week after


“Black Tuesday” and the onset of the Great Depression. There’s no doubt that the Great Depression added consid- erable financial pressure on the city. Only late in the proj- ect did additional funding came from the government of Canada — relief funding to keep men employed. The Rock Garden opened to visitors in 1932: over five


acres of beautiful limestone, magnificent plantings and an extensive water course. Early plantings included alpine plants and other typical rock garden offerings, and a wide variety of woody plants. The first records of plantings at Royal Botanical Gardens are those from the Rock Garden in 1930. Among them were Japanese-cedar (Cryptomeria japonica), maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba), Japanese yew


localgardener.net


The renovated gardens opened in May of 2016.


(Taxus cuspidata), and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Others included Thunberg’s meadowsweet (Spiraea thun- bergii), sea-buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides), and bottle- brush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora). At the same time as the Burlington Heights gardens


were being built, McQuesten and his colleagues were pursuing an even grander vision: a botanical garden in Hamilton of national significance, inspired by England’s Royal Botanic Garden, Kew. Securing a larger property on the south shore of Cootes Paradise Marsh in 1927, the park board received permission from King George V to name it Royal Botanical Gardens in 1930. In 1932 all the parks in the area were brought together under the name Royal Botanical Gardens.


Fall 2016 • 23


Photo courtesy of McNeill Photography.


Photo courtesy of McNeill Photography.


Photo courtesy of McNeill Photography.


Photo courtesy of McNeill Photography.


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