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Planning Centennial Garden
Oakville Beaver, 29 May 1963

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29 May 1963
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.4473682625124 Longitude: -79.6665048808289
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Bronte Horticultural Society
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[Photo Caption] SITE OF THE CENTENNIAL GARDEN being planned by Cities Service Refinery at oakville is shown in this aerial view. The refinery administrative block is shown at centre left. Special ceremonies are being planned for the start of the project, which will be completed to mark Canada's 100th birthday in 1967.


Prehistoric type daffodils resembling those growing before the ice age are likely to be included in the centennial garden planned by Cities Service for their refinery in Oakville.

John Bradshaw, a leading Canadian gardening expert, who is consultant for the garden, said the garden would have examples of plants like this up to ten years before they came on the general market.

Mr. Bradshaw, who spoke to Bronte Horticultural Society on the garden recently, said the prehistoric daffodil had ruffled petal like those found in fossils of pre-ice age daffodils.

A Dutch grower who noticed the type in 1922 had developed it. Six years ago when Mr. Bradshaw first came across the variety there were still only 200 bulbs in existence.

It required a million or so bulbs of any variety to allow them to be sold at 15 cents or 20 cents each.

Mr. Bradshaw said the garden of about six acres would include 3,000 rose bushes. It would also have the largest fountain in Canada.

Mr. Bradshaw, who was just back from a trip to Europe, said there was a boom in gardening there. It reflected the prosperity of the countries he visited.

The trend in England was away from the old fashioned Victorian style gardening. The long herbaceous border had given way to small islands of plants around which observers could walk.

Mr. Bradshaw said his counterpart in England, Roy Hayes, had a completely mechanized garden. Mr. Hayes did not have to decide when to water it. A gadget turned on the water when the moisture content of the soil fell below a fixed level and turned off the supply when the soil had enough water. The greenhouse was also mechanized with electrical heating and a mist type of watering system.

First step towards a centenary project in Canada will be taken in Oakville when the first plantings are undertaken June 26 at the Cities Service Refinery centennial garden at the west end of the town.

Dr. Norman McKenzie, former chancellor of the University of British Columbia and now chairman of the Canadian Centenary Council is expected to come from Vancouver to attend the ceremonies.

A marquee will be erected on the site of the 6 1/2 acre garden for an opening reception.

Guests will include A.P. Frame, the new president of Cities Service Refinery as well as Oakville municipal officers and leading figures in the horticultural world.

It is hoped to plant flowers representing each province at the first planting ceremony to start the Canadian garden section.

The garden, on a bluff overlooking a scenic greenbelt and Twelve Mile Creek at the east side of the property, will be constructed in stages with the first big floral display next spring. It is expected to be completed by 1966 and dedicated as a centennial project early in 1967.

A spokesman for Cities Service said the garden would be a floral showplace featuring popular flowers. It would be in continuous bloom from May each year until Thanksgiving, with displays changing constantly.

A children's garden and a garden of the future to display new hybrids were also planned, he added.

John Bradshaw, Canadian garden authority is the consultant and the garden will be designed by Parkway Planning Associated of Ottawa.

E.A. Bumby, president, Bronte Horticultural Society, and H.C. Rickaby, president, Oakville Horticultural Society, are members of the garden advisory committee which also includes David Burpee, president W. Atlee Burpee Seed Company, Philadelphia; R. Ray Hastings, All-American Selections, Harrisburg; T.W. Thompson, Metro Toronto parks commissioner; Dr. R. Milton Carleton, research horticulturalist, Chicago; A.R. Buckley, Canadian Department of Agriculture, Ottawa; Russell A. Gomme, Ontario Horticultural Society, Toronto; Donald S. McConnel, Roses International, Port Burwell; Howard Bodger, Bodger Seed Ltd., El Monte, Calif.; Gustav Springer, Netherlands Flower-Bulb Institute North American Director; Matthew Zanbergen, horticulturalist, Sassesnheim, Holland; and Jan De Graff, leading lily breeder of Gresham.

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Planning Centennial Garden