Friends of Fintry Provincial Park
The Octagon – August, 2019
The month of July has been very busy at Fintry. The weekend tours have been full to capacity with people and campers from all over the world coming to hear the Dun-Waters’ story. The Fintry Summer Fair held on July 14th was one of our best ever with a constant stream of visitors touring the Manor House, checking out the vendors and enjoying the music. The weather co-operated and from the comments we received it seemed that everyone had a good time.
We now are in the planning stages for the Fintry Fall Fair to be held on Sunday, September 15th.These Fairs are an important source of revenue for the Friends of Fintry and we are very grateful for your support, so mark the date on your calendars and bring your friends and family for a fun day at Fintry.
Earlier this year we applied for a grant through BC Parks “Parks Enhancement Fund” for the printing of a walking tour brochure. We wish to announce that we were successful in obtaining funding for this endeavour (which is now at the printers) and we would like to thank BC Parks for assisting us with this. This walking tour brochure will give informed access to the various historic and natural features of the Fintry Provincial Park.
We have also been successful in obtaining a grant through the Central Okanagan Foundation (COF) which will enable us to hire a Business Manager. We are extremely grateful for this grant, as this will lighten the load for us volunteers as we expand our special events programming.
And now some musings from our Curator Dan Bruce:
“Take the time to smell the roses on your next visit to Fintry! We know that when the Dun-Waters were in residence, the Manor House was surrounded by about five acres of ornamental gardens. The present extent of the lawn, mostly on the east side of the house is essentially the same as it was at that time. Over the years, several changes took place, which is to be expected, gardens being living entities. The pathway from the front steps leads straight towards a gravel circle, in the centre of which stands the sundial.
Serene he stands among the flowers
And only counts the sunny hours
For him dark days do not exist,
That brazen faced old optimist.
The sundial was returned to Fintry and replaced in its original position in honour of Arthur Bailey, Baron d’Avray, Chevalier de St. Louis, who lived for many years at Fintry and was the last owner of the property before it became a BC Park. At one time, the stone pathway was lined with small flowering trees. Just to the south-west of the sundial, there stands a gigantic Douglas Fir. This tree has survived a traumatic experience, having lost the greater part of its height in some unknown mishap. Lateral branches continued to grow, somewhat unusually for a Douglas Fir. These branches increasing in size became unwieldy, and some of them broke off in a wind storm. Rather than see the tree cut down and removed, the Friends of Fintry asked the assistance of Cody Tree Services of Kelowna to see if this veteran could be saved. Simon Carrol, Cody’s top arborist came and assessed the situation, installing a series of steel cables that hold the surviving branches safely together, thus giving the tree anew lease on life.
Two specimens of the climbing rose “Bobbie James”have been planted to go up the tree. This rose variety was discovered as a seedling growing in Lady Serena James’ garden in Yorkshire, UK in 1961. It is named after her late husband, the Hon. Robert James. In a good location, “Bobbie James” will reach a height of at least 25 feet.
The roses along the front of the Manor House are for the most part David Austin’s English roses, raised at his famous nursery in Shropshire. At the north-east corner of the veranda is “Pat Austin” a coppery coloured rose raised in 1995 and named in honour of David Austin’s wife. Next comes “Miss Alice”, a pink one chosen for Fintry because the first Mrs. Dun-Waters name was Alice. Then follows “Charles Rennie Mackintosh” raised in 1988 and named after the Scottish architect and designer who, among many other things, created the tower on the office of the Glasgow Herald newspaper, of which James Dun-Waters was the major shareholder. The very dark crimson rose next to the front steps is “Tradescant”, introduced in 1993. On the south side of the veranda, you will find the white flowered Madame Hardy, raised in the Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris in 1832, which shares the space with the strawberry pink Madame Isaac Pereire, also raised in France, but a bit later, in 1881.”
Who knew that we had such an abundance of famous roses surrounding the Manor House. So as Dan says, take the time to “smell the roses” on your next visit as they do have absolutely beautiful aromas unlike many of the roses of today.
Enjoy your summer,
Friends of Fintry Provincial Park