Welcome to the Wallace and Area Museum’s Heritage and Country Gardens.
John Kennedy, the Wallace and Area Museum’s benefactor, was fond of his gardens and grounds. Many of his original plants and trees can still be found in the largest of the Museum’s garden areas.
In 1993, when the Wallace and Area Museum Society assumed protection of the property, many enthusiastic and hardworking people have either been employed or have volunteered to keep the grounds and garden areas with their unique varietals in prosperous and healthy condition.
Thanks to the generosity and assistance of friends of the Museum and local garden lovers, other heritage varieties have been donated and put in place. The result is an enhanced seasonal display, with a riot of color that brightens the grounds and flag stone path ways from spring until late fall.
When the construction of our new Museum buildings was underway in 2005, it required changes to the original face of some of the old gardens. In 1995 a large herb garden was planted next to the shed, west of the old home site. Prior to the construction of our new Museum addition, some of the herbs as well as the hostas from the shade garden were transplanted for safe keeping onto an adjoining neighbor’s property. A new herb garden was planted in the spring 2011. While enjoying your visit to the Museum property, you are encouraged to sip a cup of tea, relax in the shade of the large old crab apple tree. While enjoying the sun, admire the large piece of sandstone on display donated by the local quarry, and soak up the ambience of our gardens as if you were in another era.
The shade garden is located under the large ash tree across from the main entrance to the Museum. We are in the process of establishing many shade tolerant ornamentals in this area. Look for several types of hostas, as well as some unusual native plants, including bloodroot, native sedum, and May Apple.
The largest of the gardens has four main sections:
On the West side of the lawn, you will see a large area of flowering plants interlaced with sandstone pathways, beginning with the daffodils in early spring, old verities of bearded iris, and ending with the asters, which bloom until late fall.
The perennial garden is designed to provide a constantly changing palette of colors throughout the growing season.
Keep strolling along the pathways and see if you can spot some of the more unusual plants in this garden including the Batista, Monks Hood, Bishops Wart, Sedum, Oriental Poppies, Polygonium, Goose Neck Loosestrife, Meadowsweet, Goats Beard and old-fashioned Peonies. The perennial garden has proven to be a favorite place for young children to run ahead of their parents, while visiting the museum, or as a spot for bridal parties to stand while family members record memories. To add to the longevity of colour, as of June 2008 some annuals have been interspersed among the perennials to lengthen and brighten the display.
Solomon’s Seal is the tall, drooping plant with white blossoms and berries on the underside of the stem. Golden seal can also be found here. It is a native plant which has recently been developed as an immune system booster by the natural medicine industry.
In the centre of the lawn beyond the crab apple trees is the newly established Annual Garden. Note the bark mulch used on the ground in our ornamental beds. This is an environmentally friendly way to control weeds and keep the soil surface moist.
With its texture and bright colours, the annual garden provides wonderful inspiration for the painters and rug hookers who meet at the Museum each week.
Located towards the back of the gardens, the orchard contains several of the original apple trees, including Yellow Transparent, Macintoshes, and Spartans. We continue to maintain the orchard by replacing dying trees with young, heritage varieties of apples.
The following trees were planted in memory of special people from the Wallace area:
- Royal Red Maple, in memory of Margaret Ann Heard, 1934-1999
- Little Leaf Linden, planted June 2, 1996, in memory of Carolyn Stella Drysdale 1938-1992.
- Cut Leaf Silver Maple planted on June 2, 1996 in memory of Helen Patricia Moody 1919-1995.
- Forsythia, planted for Lois (Tiny) Smith.
- Red Maple, planted for David Cook.