Niagara Falls’ Floral Clock

The floral clock as it looks during the summer

photography by: Omri Westmark

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In an era where checking the current hour is a mere one click away, traditional clocks are widely perceived as obsolete. Nevertheless, what these once ubiquitous devices now lack in necessity they make up for in other ways. Far-eclipsed by the nearby famous Niagara Falls, the Floral Clock along Niagara River Pkwy boasts a spectacular display of horticultural art, making time-telling its least important feature.

Slightly away from the roaring waters of one of the world’s most photographed places, the Niagara Falls, lies a local monument that often serves as a side-attraction for groups of tourists, impatiently eager to get to the idolized waterfall.

 

Nestled in a verdant park, about 1,000 feet from the mid-river border between Canada and the US, Niagara Falls’ floral clock is an oversized horologe, comprised almost entirely of flowers in different colors. With a whopping 15,000 to 20,000 individual flowering plants, the 40 feet-wide clock is among the largest of its kind anywhere across the planet.

 

Twice a year, the clock’s carpet of flowers is being replanted by students from the close-by Niagara Parks School of Horticulture and their fellow professors, typically varying between different species of Alternanthera and Santolina in the summer and autumn months, and Violas in the springtime. The flowery device is surrounded by a circular pond where koi fish swim their way through bundles of aquatic plants.

 

Every 15 minutes, one can hear the Westminster chimes resonating from the slender tower that juts out of the clock’s rear part. Hidden inside is the decades-old mechanism behind the frequent chimes as well as the movement of the clock hands. Those who are lucky enough to visit during maintenance works when the building is open, can take a glance at the screeching machinery.