The Paterson Memorial Garden is located in Roden Park on the north side of Norman Rogers Drive adjacent to the City Greenhouses (111 Norman Rogers Drive). It was planted as a memorial to William (Willie) Paterson (1891-1989) in appreciation for his contribution of plants to the City of Kingston. Members of the Kingston Horticultural Society have been tending this garden for many years.
William Paterson moved from England to Kingston in 1913. He originally worked as a farm hand for the Wartman family and eventually established a nursery business on the Wartman farm on what is now Sunny Acres Road, near the nylon factory. Mr. Paterson became known as one of the best sources of rare alpine plants in Ontario. He shared his plants and his knowledge widely throughout the City of Kingston. Mr. Paterson was made a life member of Kingston Horticultural Society in 1965 and he was a recipient of the Ontario Horticultural award of merit. He provided plants to the City of Kingston greenhouses and regularly supplied flowers for St. John’s Anglican Church in Portsmouth Village. After his death on October 14, 1983 the City began creation of a garden in his memory on the site of the greenhouses in Roden Park. Many rare alpine plants were transplanted from his nursery to the Paterson Memorial Garden.
Over the years many of the original alpine plants have disappeared and other perennials have been added. In 2017 a crushed stone edging was added around the perimeter of the garden and in 2018, after extensive weeding, mulch was added to control the grass and weeds which threatened to overtake the garden. For 2019 the focus will be on identification of plants currently in the garden and a return to the original intent of a rock garden with alpines and other perennials tolerant of the hot dry conditions. The next step will be the creation of a site map to assist future gardeners in identifying and maintaining the garden as a memorial to one of Kingston’s most influential gardeners. There will be a one-time spring clean-up and volunteers with plant identification skills are also needed to assist in identifying existing plants.
All are welcome to visit the garden!