by Vivianne M. Silver
After planting tulip, daffodil and narcissus bulbs, and covering the earth with compost, it’s time to say goodbye to that special place of healing and hope —my garden patch at the Côte St. Luc Senior Community Garden.
My garden patch was allotted to me four years ago after I sold my home of 37 years. It was difficult to give up the garden I had loved and nurtured all those years, its tall and majestic evergreens, all the perennials that announced spring, the crab-apple trees, the forsythia bush, the lilies of the valley and the flowering lilacs.
Summers were always a delight as I settled to read under the locust tree, lulled by the sound of my nearby fountain. Afternoon tea was a special time to enjoy my garden in its full splendour. I enjoyed welcoming my winged friends –chickadees, mourning doves, yellow finches, blue jays, but it was always a joy to see the red cardinal and his brown mate.
And now, as a happy gardener in the community garden situated on Kellert and Kildare, I am grateful for my garden patch, a place of healing, reflection, hard work, and joy.
The Senior Community Garden is diligently and effectively run by our volunteer manager, Mandie. It is without a doubt one of the nicest community gardens.
I have been lucky to have two wonderful garden neighbours, Alberto and Mohammed, who are always helpful and generous, and June, a seasoned gardener whose magnificent English garden is inspiring.
This year has been bountiful. I was able to share with friends the fruits of my labour – tomatoes, zucchinis, green peppers, celery, rhubarb and herbs. I was happy when my friend Elaine came to gather a bouquet of my beautiful flowers –verbena, dahlias, lilies, daisies, and especially my wild roses, a bush I had planted in memory of my mother who loved roses.
It gave me much pleasure to be one of the gardeners to donate vegetables to MADA’s kitchen when Rabbi Joseph came to collect them every two weeks.
My garden patch turned out to be a place to bond with my grandson, Justin, who would come with me on a Saturday morning and help weed, cut, and water my garden.
Closing the gate one last time, I wish our Canadian winter is kind and that next May I can return to my special place.