I placed Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens at the top of my list of gardens to visit while in Niagara Falls this past Summer. The Botanical Gardens are located on the Niagara Parkway, just a few minutes drive North of the Falls and the main tourist area. Admission is free, but parking is $5.00.
We spent the first couple of hours touring the Butterfly Conservatory (admission is not free to this, but is reasonable), which is located on the same grounds. I’ll admit it, I had hopes that one of those big, beautiful butterflies would alight on my perfect little girl so I could capture that perfect photo to
cherish for all time. It didn’t happen. The bugs had no interest in her nor she in them. In fact, she slept through most of it – which is, indeed, far preferable to an unhappy, Let-Me-Out-Of-Here-Now baby. At any rate, the butterflies were lovely little gems in their big green setting full of glossy tropical plants. A few of the plants were in bloom but the flowers tended to be too far away to really get a good look at.
After emerging from the tropical splendor of the Conservatory, we meandered through a section of the gardens dedicated to native plants. This area is new and still under construction. It will one day no doubt be very impressive but at this time was obviously in the early stages of development. I didn’t even take any pictures. But it was lovely to see such a large number of plants that I have in my garden being used. This gives me hope for both my own garden and for public spaces. I would like to return in a couple of years to see this garden in a more mature state.
From there we followed several paths that lead us to ponds, gazebos and allees. We toured the vegetable and herb gardens, admired the perennial border plantings and revered the towering trees. The rose garden was a bit disappointing as we were there well past their peak season, but the formal parterre garden was elegant.
The Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens are a great place to make a garden day trip to if you happen to be in the Niagara Falls, Ontario area.