The Niagara Parkway, running along its namesake river, is both a scenic road in its own right and host a wealth of discovery with the features and stopovers along its route. Arguably the most iconic of these stopovers, only a short drive north from the Botanical Gardens, is the famous Floral Clock.
Located near the Niagara Botanical Gardens, the fully-functional Floral Clock, with a diameter of 12.2 metres, was fashioned in 1950, based off the famous Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh. The clock and its associated grounds has operated as a free attraction ever since – and has become one of the most photographed attractions in the region.
The clock is constantly kept in peak condition. The mechanism is regularly maintained by Ontario Water, the original designers of the clock, along with a Westminster chime every hour and quarter-hour. The garden bedding on the clock’s surface is regularly groomed and updated by staff from Niagara Parks.
Anywhere between 16 000 to 20 000 carpet bedding plants make up the surface of the clock, with the floral theme changing throughout the year. Spring might use viola, along with green and grey Santolina sage in Fall. Depending on the time of year the curators might also introduce perennials or rock-garden aesthetics to ensure there’s always a variety in the clock itself and the surrounding gardens.
The design changes each year, and visitors with a mind for history will be intrigued by the multitude of photos housed in the clock’s tower, chronicling the changing face of the clock in the past half-century.
Ideal viewing times are between April and September, and the grounds are open to visitors all year round. A local gift shop is mostly open from May until October.
The Floral Clock of Niagara is one of the largest of its kind in the world, and is an ideal stopping point in the scenic drive between Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. For anyone driving by, stopping is a must, to see the latest design and capture a premier photo opportunity.
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