The Fanshawe College Botanical Gardens

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Institution Code: GFCCA

BGCI Member: Yes

Mac Cuddy Botanic Garden
Mac Cuddy Botanic Garden

About the The Fanshawe College Botanical Gardens

The image of the Forest City is being actively pursued and developed on the main campus of Fanshawe College. Through the ongoing development of a series of demonstration gardens and landscape projects the entire campus will develop for both the internal and external communities. These gardens are a partnership with the community and the college. Additionally all the work on this planned development is undertaken by the Horticulture Technician Program at Fanshawe and acts as a living laboratory for these horticulturists and arborists in training..

Several areas of the campus have already been developed and they include the Hope Garden, a planting of 15, 000 daffodils, the Perennial Garden, the Burr German Iris Garden and the new, shrub and perennial gardens at the entrance to both M and F buildings, a major conifer garden and extensive new and refreshed plantings throughout the college grounds.

Throughout the campus and especially in the past ten years numerous trees have been planted, this autumn over forty trees were planted in the new gardens alone. Tree species selection and planting respects the master plan and mission of the garden and introduces unique and unusual plants to the public. Fanshawe College currently has the most northerly grown Ben Franklin tree in the world. The garden also includes trees from Iran, China, Japan and Florida all happily growing in the Southern Ontario climate.

It is an exciting time at the college with the Horticulture Technician Program involved in campus development. This program contributes approximately 1500 hours of skilled supervised horticultural labour a year to the development of the college gardens. Additionally many plants are grown in the new greenhouse by students; these include numerous rare tree seedlings that are planted on the campus.

Several of the construction courses in the Horticulture Technician program build projects on the campus, these projects are be tied to further garden development and garden enhancement. The most recent of these projects has been the completion of the landscape at the front of M and F.

Main Address:
The Fanshawe College Botanical Gardens
1001 Fanshawe College Boulevard
P.O.Box 7005
Ontario N5Y 5R6 Canada

Telephone: (519) 452-4430 x 4323
Fax: (519) 452-4226
Primary Email:

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Michael Pascoe, Coordinator and Professor
    Curator's Name:
    Plant Records Officer's Name:
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number: 11
    Educational Staff Number: 15
    Research Staff Number: 2
    Administration Staff Number: 6

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: Private: No
    Status: State: No
    Status: Educational: Yes
    Status: Municipal: No
    Status: Satellite: Yes
    Status: Trust: Yes
  • Date founded: 1998
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: Yes
    Natural vegetation area: Size: 2 Hectares
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
    Landscaped Area: Size: 25 Hectares
  • Total Area: 27 Hectares
    Latitude: 43.01321
    Longitude: -81.1995
    Altitude: 0.00 Metres
    Total area of glasshouses: 200 Metres
    Total area of shadehouses: 50 Metres
  • Additional Locations
  • Satellite Garden Names: The Mac Cuddy Botanic Garden The Mac Cuddy Botanic Garden has evolved since the early 1950’s developing from a rural Ontario farm into the current estate commonly referred to as the Cuddy Gardens. A. M Cuddy made his fortune with Cuddy Farms which is the world’s largest producer of turkey poults and turkey hatching eggs; the adjacent hatchery currently ships eggs and poults from its 35 Strathroy area farms worldwide. A.M. Cuddy, the founder of Cuddy Farms had always taken a keen interest in horticulture and the landscape and insisted that the corporate properties exemplify the finest in horticultural and landscape management practices. The A, M (Mac) Cuddy Garden that you see today today developed as a park-like landscape under his direction until 1991. In 1991 Michael Pascoe, a graduate of the Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture was hired to design and develop the gardens and corporate properties and bring them to the level that exemplifies horticultural excellence. Cuddy Farms at the time was one of a few large corporations with a small but dedicated in-house horticultural maintenance division. As early as 1992 Michael and his crew instituted an organic lawn care program on the 100 acres of lawn surrounding the corporate properties. The lawns currently within the The Mac Cuddy Botanic Garden have not seen a application of chemical fertilizer or pesticide since 1991. The A. M. (Mac) Cuddy Garden took approximately five years to build with the majority of the work undertaken by Michael and his staff. Driveways were moved, walks and patios laid, arbours and fences built and night lighting installed. The gardens reflect the English planting style (Michael is English), and are developed as complex layers of plants with changing venues weekly. The gardens are well known throughout Southern Ontario and USA; the gardens hosted The Perennial Plant Association in 2000 and were the first Canadian Gardens to be honoured by them in 1995 for exemplary design use of perennials and woody plants. The gardens, under the watchful eye of Lucas Michielsen continue to thrive and expand with additions to many of the garden areas. Lucas is a graduate of Fanshawe’s Horticulture Technician Program and has a keen interest in unusual plants. Plants in this garden are not pampered; they are given one chance with the only supplemental supports being water and mulch. The gardens are planted with over 2,000 different species of plants and maintain associations with botanical gardens throughout the USA and Canada: on March 24th 2009, the gardens became part of Botanic Gardens Conservation International and thus officially became a botanical garden. In May some one hundred thousand bulbs bloom throughout the garden, with over thirty thousand narcissus of some thirty different species and cultivars flowering in the woodland garden. Additionally the garden is home to several rare and endangered plants such as the Yellow Trillium (Trillium luteum), the Cucumber Magnolia (Magnolia acuminata) and the Ben Franklin Tree (Franklinia alatamaha), the most northerly grown Franklinia. The Dry Garden This garden is now 19 years old and features plants that thrive in a dry climate and utilizes foliage as opposed to blooms. The gravel paths simulate a Mediterranean feel and are actually planted with minor bulbs such as Netted Iris (Iris reticulata) and self-sown perennials and biennials. Masses or ornamental grass are the late summer highlights that carry the garden through the winter season, four Chanticleer Pear anchors each of the four beds, the first two being shorter in length to give the illusion that they are the same size when viewed from a distance. This particular garden won a Perennial Plant Association award for perennial design in 1995. The Prairie Garden This garden delineates the transition between the formal lawn areas of the property and the gardens themselves. Spectacular in late autumn through winter into early spring this garden’s dominant feature is masses of late season perennial such as Rudbeckia and Echinacea species combines with a variety of ornamental grasses. The Woodland Garden This garden recently underwent an expansion with the Primrose Walk (the path on the east side) added in 2001-2. In early spring the garden is ablaze with Daffodils, Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica) and other exotic and rare minor bulbs. Rhododendrons, Redbuds (Cercis canadensis), a Whit bud (Cercis canadensis ‘Alba’) and Goats beard (Fothergilla monticola) comprise the mid canopy while the upper canopy is a mixture of River Birch (Betula nigra), Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), Shingle Oak (Quercus acutissima) and Blue Ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata). The late spring and summer display features numerous varieties of Trillium, ferns, Corydalis, Butterbur and Hosta. The humus layer in this garden, of primary importance to the plant species being grown is enriched every year by the addition of leaves collected from all the formal lawn areas of the garden. The Rock Garden Although not an authentic rock garden this area contains many alpine and sub-alpine species grown under a sand/gravel base. Home to native cactus (Opuntia sp.) these gems produce delicate tissue like flowers of yellow and shocking pink in summer. Spring highlights include various Fritillaria species and a collection of dwarf conifers, of note is the Silberlocke Fir. The Perennial Border A very traditional aspect of the garden this border is original to the garden in placement since 1980. It however has undergone extensive renovation with the addition of new perennials and bulbs. Of particular note in May is the Ornamental Rhubarb (Rheum palmatum), alliums are a dominant summer bulb, while late season interest is maintained through the use of goldenrod (Solidago sp.) and Asters. The Rose Garden This is the newest addition to the Cuddy Garden and features over eighty hybrid tea roses selected for their disease resistance, vigour and bloom. At the north end of this garden is a collection of shrub roses such as Rosa moyesii ‘Geranium’ planted amongst a selection of unique shrubs such as Viburnum ‘Summer Snowflake’. A shrub border to the east side of the garden was planted in the summer of 2002. The Patio Garden One of the most relaxing places in the garden, the arbour is enveloped in large panicles of white wisteria bloom in late May; it is as if the entire arbour is dripping with icicles. English boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) which need protection from drying winter winds are grown here as well as a rare Pink Silverbell (Halesia monticola ‘Rosea’).
  • Locality: Information
  • Locality: Garden Name: The Mac Cuddy Botanic Garden
  • Local Address: 28443 Centre Road
  • Locality: City: Strathroy, Ontario
  • Locality: State: Ontario

Features and Facilities

  • Herbarium: No
    Arboretum: Yes
    Arboretum Size: 3
  • Micropropagation/ Tissue Culture Facilities: No
    Seed Bank: No
    Published Plant Catalogue: No
    Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: No
    Retail Outlet: Shop: No
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: Yes
    Disabled access: Yes
  • Number of Visitors: 15000

Plant Collections

  • Accession Number: 4500
  • Special Collections:Emphasis on Carolinian plants but also an extensive collection of exotics with emphasis on Asia.

    Collection include Magnolia, Paeonia, Hemerocallis, Iris, Primula, Narcissus and Trillium.
  • Invasive Species Monitoring: Yes
    Invasive Species Policy: Yes
    Plant Collection Policy: Yes

Conservation Programmes

  • Conservation Programme: Yes
    Medicinal Plant Programme: No
    Ex Situ Conservation Programme: No
    Reintroduction Programme: No

Research Programmes

  • Biotechnology: No
    Plant Breeding: Yes
    Conservation - Biology: Yes
    Conservation - Genetics: Yes
    Data Management Systems and Information Technology: Yes
    Ecology: Yes
    Ecosystem Conservation: No
    Education: Yes
    Ethnobotany: No
    Exploration: No
    Floristics: No
    Horticulture: Yes
    Invasive Species Biology and Control: Yes
    Molecular Genetics: No
    Pollination Biology: No
    Restoration Ecology: Yes
    Seed/Spore Biology: No
    Systematics and Taxonomy: Yes
    Sustainability: Yes
    Pharmacology: No
    Agriculture: No
    Land Restoration: No
    Urban Environments: Yes

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: No
    Education Signs in Garden: Yes
    Public Lectures/Talks: Yes
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Permanent Public Displays: Yes
    Special Exhibitions: No
    Courses for School Children: Yes
    Courses for University/College Students: No
    Courses for General Public: Yes
    Education Programme: Yes