Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada

I digress a little from the Northern New York Garden, but. . . oh well, close enough.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada is on the western end of Lake Ontario where the Niagara River flows into Lake Ontario. Quite often people aren't aware when they visit Niagara Falls that there is this beautiful little village about 13 miles north of Niagara Falls. We were recently in Western New York for a family reunion. We hadn't been over to Niagara-on-the-Lake in awhile so we decided to take a visit there and maybe see if there was anything blooming with the fall weather arriving. Well, to my amazement, I could not believe the bountiful masses of blooms galore! What a surprise! Here it is the end of September 2013 and the beginning of fall. It was such a beautiful day and all their plantings were in full bloom. It looked like the middle of summer! All the plantings around the small village were color coordinated. The cannas were in full bloom, as well as begonias, coleus, ornamental grasses, and the huge hanging baskets from the street lights. Their hardiness zone is 6b which is a little warmer than my area which is a 5.

If you plan on visiting Niagara Falls, Ontario, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a short trip (about 1/2 hour drive) north of Niagara Falls. If you are coming from the United States or countries other than Canada you need a passport. You might have a wait on one of the bridges entering Canada. We had about a 1/2 hour wait to go through customs on our way over (Lewiston-Queenston Bridge), and on our return trip we had about a 5 minute wait (Rainbow Bridge). The time varies depending on the season, activities or holidays.

Fuschia standard (tall), tradescantia, begonia
There is plenty of shopping as well as history with Fort George being located in Niagara-on-the-Lake too. Fort George is a National Historic Military Structure at Niagara-on-the-Lake. It was the scene of several battles during the War of 1812. For those interested in the history of the area here is a link to Fort George.

There are also several wineries (27) located between Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the Lake. If you are interested in visiting any of the wineries you might find this link helpful: Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake

If you want to do a bicycle tour, you may bring your own or rent them there. Several various cycling trails are available for your enjoyment. Most of the bike paths are paved. I don't think I could do the bike trails and the wine tours at the same time though.

Link to Bicycling the Niagara Region (Ontario): Welcome Cyclists

Canna, coleus, begonia, and sweet potato vine

These are some of the plantings in the center island of  one of their streets.

There is grass planted between these spaces in the pavement.

Canna Lily

Cannas can add a spectacular show to any garden. With their tropical look they can add height and and drama to your plantings. Cannas are hardy in zones 8-11. They will grow fine in any kind of soil, but may need an amendment of good organic matter. They do best in full sun (6 hours+) and moist soil. They may bloom poorly or be stunted if they get less than 6 hours of sunlight per day.  They come in a variety of colors and bloom in the summer through the first frost. Because we have a short growing season you can start them in small pots in the house. Plant them outside after danger of frost has passed. When planting in the ground, mix in some composted material. Set the rhizome in the hole about 3-4" deep with the eyes facing up. Standard varieties grow 4-6' tall and may need to be staked. Cannas are heavy feeders. Fertilize in mid-summer with a general fertilizer and water before and after this treatment to help prevent fertilizer burn. In the fall, after the first frost when the foliage turns black, cut the leaves and stems down, dig up the rhizomes, and store the rhizomes in a dry place at about 40-50 degrees F. Do not let the rhizomes dry out over winter in storage. You may need to mist them with a little water a few times over the winter months. 

This is just amazing!

Prince of Wales Hotel
Court House

The Shaw Festival is located in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Shaw Festival is a theatre company that performs George Bernard Shaw's plays as well as his contemporaries. They produce about 10-12 plays each season from May through November. They have four theatres that houses the productions: The Festival Theatre, the Court House, the Royal George, and the Studio Theatre.
Link to The Shaw Festival Theatre: Shaw Festival

If you are interested in more information on Niagara-on-the-Lake here is a link to seven 24 minute video episodes that details a carriage ride, shopping, hotels, bed & breakfasts, the Whirlpool Jet Boats and other events and activities:

Other Related Links

Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens and Butterfly ConservatoryBotanical Gardens & Butterfly Conservatory

WEGO Bus Service: This service connects tourists in Niagara Falls, Ontario to the popular tourist attractions. You can get an adult 24 hour pass for $7.00 (2013 rates).
Link to WEGO bus service:

Link to Fort George, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada: Fort George National Historic Site of Canada

Ontario's Niagara Parks and Attractions


  1. I wish I knew about this town when I went to Niagara Falls last summer. What wonderful pictures of those amazing flowers blooming in September. I love your blog and all the great info you provide.

    1. Thanks so much LuLu! I'm really glad you're enjoying the blog. It's really a lot of fun for me too. I'm just happy to share photos with everyone and offer a little gardening information to go along with it.