November 15, 2011
By Dan Clost CHT
Past president, Upper Canada Chapter
Upper Canada Chapter is pleased to have created a long-term relationship between community members and the horticulture industry.
The Chapter was approached by Starr Olsen, executive director of Community Living in Quinte West, requesting help to transform the grounds of the Joan Scott Development Centre, a home for disabled adults.
The grounds were typical of a 1970s industrial area, with no plants except a lot full of weeds, surrounding a concrete path that was designed to move people from the street to inside the building with minimum delay. There was no reason to stop along the way.
The vision was to create a pleasing array of gardens, a pathway, patio, and raised planters for teaching purposes.
The theme was a sensory garden. A unique feature is a thousand-square-foot patio with 12 distinct areas surrounding the three large planters. Each area has either a different pattern, such as basket weave and herring bone, with different coloured pavers. As well, a variety of pavers with different profiles were used.
Grateful acknowledgement is given to the inventor of poly-sand that filled the interesting gaps where patterns met.
The level of support within the Upper Canada Chapter was exceptional in terms of donated materials and bodies working on the ground. Over the course of two non-raining October weekends, 40 volunteers toiled away. In total, 21 companies were represented as suppliers of either materials and/or labour, and more than 99 per cent of the material was donated.
Just before the ribbon cutting ceremony, one LO member informed the mayor that the project was completed on time and under budget.
Visitors and students at 11 Canal Street are now treated to a pleasing view of swaying ornamental grasses, lilac hedges that define without segregating, trees and shrubs with foliage selected for colour, movement, texture and fragrance, a new path and a patio with some ground level surprises.
Next spring, the teaching beds will be filled with all manner of interesting plants that will provide beauty and instruction. How cool is that, eh? It must be noted that all of the folks from Community Living Quinte West administration, board members, students, and the agency’s own group of volunteers pitched in to make their presence felt. This was a complete community effort, bringing together LO members, potential members, individuals, city and provincial administrations, as well as quite a few on-lookers.
The landscaped grounds are adjacent to the entrance to the local conservation authority waterfront trail, which is travelled by many people. They, too, can now enjoy the beauty created by members of the Upper Canada Chapter.