Not far from home, there are more and more community gardens popping up each year. Some garden plots are quite tiny by the curbside, while others are larger and cunningly designed with a winding pathway, twisted tree branch arbour or even a park bench. Some gardeners must spend whole warm summer evenings basking in their patch of garden artistry while everyone else and their dogs, stroll by less than a foot away.
Meanwhile other gardens may be adorned with playful garden “bling” ornaments or curiosities to reflect light and attract passersby.
Last week I wrote an article for Tourism Vancouver’s blog, on discovery of these garden gems by cycling or walking. Most local cyclists are at least, dimly aware of gardens that are planted in traffic calming circles usually on certain residential streets. A few months before the Olympics, to the outrage of some local gardeners, some city landscaping staff accidentally dug up a traffic circle community garden near Ontario and 12th St. during their road resurfacing work. I recalled its location since I did have to cycle around the construction mess for a few days.
Only recently I got off my bike to admire a whole strip of community gardens along the abandoned Arbutus railroad corridor. For past several years, I simply bombed down the hill on Cypress St. with barely a passing glance to the colourful riot of floral and plant life.
For someone like myself, with nearly a black thumb which can only nurture successfully less than five plants, it is a treat to have this urban beautification while also have productive use of neglected public land that gives satisfaction to all.
Chong, Jean. “Touring Vancouver’s Community Gardens by Cycling or Walking” In Inside Vancouver Blog. Mar. 31, 2010.