Rideau Woodland Ramble (RWR) is a Garden Centre and Display Gardens situated on 7 acres of woodland near Merrickville Ontario. Its mission is “to capture the imagination of gardeners and collectors”, in a woodland setting, showcasing and selling rare and unusual Hostas, Grasses, Conifers, Magnolias, and a range of shrubs, trees and perennials.
RWR provides “unrivaled experiences, service and quality”.
It is a partnership between David Dunn and Robert Caron.
The operation is located at 210 Burritt’s Rapids Rd, County Rd 23, Merrickville, with mailing at P O Box 348 Merrickville Ontario K0G 1N0. RWR can be reached at 613-258-3797, or www.rideauwoodlandramble.com.
RWR was initiated in 1999 with initial site clearing. The majority of infrastructure was created in 2000, with the Centre opening for 15 days in the fall of that year. 2001 was the first full year of operation for RWR.
The Ramble is organized around 2 major themes-
- 7 acres of dramatic and mature display gardens and trails open to the public
- The Garden Centre, carrying the materials one sees in the display gardens
This operation is capitalizing on 25 years of collecting and development of gardens containing collections of rare plant material for the Ottawa area. This experience and setting is a major attraction for passionate gardeners, collectors and landscape contractors.
The big idea of the Ramble was sparked by two things - a long term dream to share our gardening experiences with other gardeners and collectors, and the spectacular impact of the ice storm of 1998. Dave Dunn has said “it was like the hand of God coming down and clearing a swath of land that had originally been a mature stand of Red Pine”. The clean up in 1999 sparked the idea of making use of this sudden creation of open land in the center of the woodland, The Ramble rose like a “Phoenix from the ashes of the storm”, and the idea of the Ramble was truly born.
The gardens at Rideau Woodland Ramble are the result of 25 years of evolution, experimentation and discovery. They fall into several main zones, almost all in some context of shade and woodland.
1. The first gardens enjoy the dappled light provided by a stand of red pine. They can be found on either side of the house. This acidic area is the home of Japanese maples, Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and a range of trees, shrubs and perennials. Many are surprised by what thrives in this environment.
2. The second area is home to a babbling pond, a collection of dwarf conifers, specimen Hostas, and grasses, as well as a further range of trees shrubs and perennials.
3. The third major area is known as Lake Ramble, a pond home to much wildlife. A large garden of conifers anchors this area, along with a large grass demonstration bed.
4. The next major zone included is called Totem Trail as it rambles into the pure woodland and some of the surprises contained therein.
5. 2005 saw the opening up of the