The Wellington Museum Garden

In the winter of 2018 I was asked by the Wellington Heritage Museum’s garden committee to design the planting for their recently constructed heritage perennial garden. The pathways, lawn, and planting beds had been prepared already by Terra Vista Landscape Construction and all that was left was to fill the garden with plants.

Over the winter and spring of 2018 I developed a planting design for the garden that drew inspiration from the Museum’s origins as a Quaker meeting house. Inspired by the Quaker philosophy and aesthetic we selected humble, quietly beautiful plants that were either native to Prince Edward County, or were the kind of “useful plants” like common herbs or plants with medicinal properties that would have featured in early settler gardens. Ease of maintenance was also a priority since the garden will be maintained by Museum volunteers, so reliable drought-tolerant perennials, grasses and shrubs were chosen and planted densely to discourage weeds. The resulting planting design features wild bergamot, chives, sage, asters and echinacea combined with grasses and shrubs like lilacs, spicebush, and serviceberries to provide structure and visual screening of the adjacent parking lots. A beautiful old sugar maple tree is the central feature of the space, but the dramatic sculpture by Quebec artist Philippe Pallafray titled “Silent Expectation” provides the most prominent focal feature in the garden.

The project is funded largely by donations and to help the Museum make the most of its garden fund I donated my services to design the planting, source plants, and assist the enthusiastic group of volunteer gardeners with the planting layout and installation.