May 4, 2021
Planting hope from coast to coast

Planting hope from coast to coast

Hope is growing

Across Canada and beyond, the goal is to see the land awash with gardens featuring yellow —the international colour of hope. Flowers, fruits, shrubs, vegetables — just plant the seeds! From parks to playgrounds, front yards, back yards, balconies, baskets, boulevards, barrels and planters, wherever there’s an empty space, there is room for a plant. Landscape Trades is a proud supporter of this new campaign from Communities in Blooms.

Why is it important?

Most people associate hope with a situation they wish would end and that they could move past. Desmond Tutu once said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness. Hope whispers that things will get better.” 2020 was a difficult year, and people are ready for positive, peaceful change and opportunities to bring brightness and light into their lives.

When does it take place?

The spring and summer of 2021. Anyone and everyone, including municipalities, organizations, schools, churches, colleges and universities, clubs, businesses, and individuals can participate by planting a Hope Garden. Share photos of your gardens on Communities in Bloom’s social media platforms with the hashtag #hopeisgrowing. Once you’ve entered your Hope Garden, you will become eligible for national and global recognition for your efforts. You will also receive a downloadable Hope Garden sign and information about hardy plants and growing tips for success.

Where is it taking place?

From sea to sea to sea, people took up gardening in record numbers in 2020. This year, the goal is to create a yellow sea of Hope Gardens growing wherever you can plant a seed. Join in and be a beacon leading the way to create HOPE across Canada and around the world!

Who is it by?

Communities in Bloom and its partners, including the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, Garden Centres Canada, Scotts Canada, the National Capital Commission, the Canadian Garden Council, Come Alive Outside, Mark and Ben Cullen, and Nutrients for Life are working together to summon everyone to create Hope Gardens for 2021.

Landscape Trades interviewed Hope is Growing supporters Paul Brydges and Scott Wentworth to learn more about the campaign
Green Roof Paul Brydges
Green Roof construction Scott Wentworth

Why is this campaign important to you?

Paul Brydges: We are excited for the Hope is Growing campaign to introduce the renewed and refreshed Communities in Bloom brand to the public. Communities in Bloom has represented the planting of beautiful gardens across Canada for 25 years, and now, the focus is on the amazing benefits those gardens provide not just aesthetically, but for the environment as well as our physical and mental wellbeing.

Scott Wentworth: An abiding sense of hope is essential to the human spirit. As our communities move through this time of Covid, hope has an even greater social importance. We’ve seen an incredible surge in people reconnecting with nature, the outdoors, and their gardens. The Hope is Growing campaign is an elegantly simple way to focus our individual and collective expressions of hope.  

It’s also an opportunity for the landscape profession to fulfil its stewardship position of leading our clients, communities and teams to understand the many ways we are fulfilled by our gardens and the natural world. We’ve been given a gift through this campaign to educate our communities about our profession and the meaningful work we do. A significant aspect to this educational opportunity should be how we can positively impact environmental restoration through landscapes that build biodiversity and support pollinators. This campaign offers an amazing legacy!

How will you and your team support the campaign?

PB: At our studio in Guelph, Ont., we are fortunate to have gardens that are seen by many people in our community. From walkers to cycling groups to the school across the street, we are really excited to have the Hope is Growing sign up and to have yellow throughout our gardens, to spread the word about the campaign throughout the year.

Additionally, we’re going to be letting our clients know about the campaign throughout the year, and we’ll look to incorporate something yellow into each design that we do. We think there’s a great opportunity for contractors to inspire their customers with this campaign, by letting them know that just by simply planting beautiful yellow plants, they can have their own hope garden and be part of a wider movement.

SW: Our company is supporting this campaign to our team, our clients and our community in multiple ways. By promoting the Hope is Growing campaign and designing, building and maintaining Hope Gardens, we’ll be bringing awareness to all of our areas of influence. We’ve introduced the program to our team at our start-up meetings and team newsletter. We’re also promoting it to our clients through social media, our client newsletter, and in our meetings with them. In presenting the program to the municipalities in which we work, we’ve met with nothing but enthusiastic responses. We’re in the early planning stages for them to develop community awareness and programs, tailored specifically to their needs.   


Favourite yellow plants

The colour yellow was selected for the campaign because of its deep connection to hope. Here are some of Scott and Paul’s favourites.
Natives that build biodiversity and support pollinators:
  • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
  • Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)
  • Large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)
  • Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)
  • Native sunflower (Helianthus maximillian)
  • Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)
  • Trout lily (Erythronium americanum)
Ornamentals that also support pollinators:
  • Baby sun coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata ‘Baby Sun’)
  • Gallery yellow lupins (Lupinus ‘Gallery Yellow’)
  • Gentle shepherd daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Gentle Shepherd’)
  • Joan senior daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Joan Senior’)
  • Moonbeam coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’)
  • Rocket ligularia (Ligularia stenocephala ‘Rocket’)
  • Sun king aralia (Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’)
  • Sunny seduction achillea (Achillea millefolium ‘Sunny Seduction’)
We encourage Hope Gardens to focus on and feature yellow flowering plants, but you may want to add other colours to the plantings to set them off, rather than just a sea of yellow. Paul and Scott will be adding some blue and purple flowering perennials, such as:
  • Caradonna salvia (Salvia nemerosa ‘Caradonna’)
  • Marcus salvia (Salvia nemerosa ‘Marcus’)
  • Purple pagan delphinium (Delphinium ‘Pagan Purple’)
  • Sparkling sapphires baptisia (Baptisia australis ‘Sparkling Sapphires’)
  • Gallery blue lupins (Lupinus ‘Gallery Blue’)
  • Purrsian blue catmint (Nepeta faassenii ‘Purrsian Blue’)
  • Waterperry blue veronica (Veronica ‘Waterperry Blue’)
  • Wood’s light blue aster (Aster dumosus ‘Wood’s Light Blue’) is tracking all the hope gardens and supporting garden centres from coast to coast. Register yours for free to show your support!