Wednesday, December 13

The Floral Clock

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The Floral Clock at Niagara has always been one of my favourite stops along the Niagara Parkway.  When I was a little girl and just old enough to ride my bicycle a few miles to the Floral Clock, I was less excited about the beautiful flowers and hard work that was involved in its immaculate presentation.  It was those big clock hands that fascinated me.  The longest hand was the second hand and it held the most appeal.  Bitten by pre-teen curiousity, the allure of that hand became too much until one day I risked sever consequence by both the Niagara Parks Police and my parents by grabbing onto it and swinging around the face of the clock.  Not such a great idea…apparently the clock hand was a bit ‘swifter’ than I was and I sustained more than a few bruises and scrapes when I finally decided to fly off of it.  I certainly wouldn’t suggest it!

The Floral Clock has been around for 60 years and was the brainchild of Ontario Hyro.  The face of the clock is 40 ft. in diameter and the flowers on the clock are changed twice a year.  Typically, the planting in the spring consists of violas and pansies in cheerful hues of yellow and violet.  The summer/autumn planting takes advantages of sturdier plants, such as visca and ornamental grasses.  The Westminster chimes ring out every fifteen minutes.

Below the clock there is a pond feautre where tourist can toss coins in for luck.  These coins are collected and donated to charity.  After admiring the Floral Clock for a while, visitors can walk around the back of the clock into a small room where they can view the clocks inner workings as well as a wall displaying all the pictures of the clock throughout the years.  Every design is unique but you tend to find some that are more intricate and spectacular.

It is said that Sir Adam Beck, the head of Ontario Hydro in the year which the Floral Clock was built, had a daughter that was battling tuberculosis and therefore had the hands of the clock fashioned to resembe crutches.

There is ample picnic area and the setting is subdued compared to the parklands near Niagara Falls themselves.  As well, there is a small snack kiosk, gift shop and washroom facilities on location.  Parking is free and the Floral Clock serves as a great background for group photos.

Located just a mile and a half further down river from the Niagara Parks Butterfly Consveratory .( http://www.bukisa.com/articles/287073_niagara-parks-butterfly-conservatory), it is well worth the extra distance.

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