Submitted by Sheri Selway with thanks to Ian and Kathleen for their help and conversation.
A vibrant oasis nestled within the North End has recently captured the attention of the Trillium Award committee. This lovely garden isn’t just a feast for the eyes, but a living testament to the power of community and the evolution of a shared vision for a sustainable urban environment.
What makes this garden truly stand out is its journey of growth and transformation over the years was driven in large part by the practice of sharing plants with neighbours. Through these friendly exchanges, the garden has evolved from a modest collection of greenery into a diverse tapestry of colors, textures, and native species that reflect the area’s unique ecosystem. This collective effort symbolizes not only a sense of camaraderie among local residents but also the gradual weaving of a community narrative into the garden’s very fabric.
The Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus finds its home here, reminding us of the significance of preserving native flora. This cactus species, indigenous to Southern Ontario, thrives as a result of the garden’s commitment to showcasing the beauty of the region’s natural plant life.
Perennials dominate the garden’s landscape. A careful selection of plants that minimizes upkeep and ensures low maintenance while guaranteeing a vibrant and lively display year after year. The intentional inclusion of pollinator plants that bloom at different times during the season gives constant colour and space for bees and other insects.
The garden’s transformation is further underscored by its participation in the City of Hamilton’s Free Street Tree program. This strategically placed tree not only adds to the garden’s aesthetic but also mirrors the city’s broader efforts to enhance its green spaces and improve air quality and shade canopy. The city offers 40 different species to choose from making it easy to select the right tree for each garden.
The garden’s hardscape owes some of its charm to Candy Venning’s creative touch. Venning’s hardscape design has contributed to an aesthetic that harmonizes with the garden’s broader narrative of a place to relax in the city with some separation from the street.
It’s worth noting that anyone can be nominated for a Trillium Award, and you can even nominate your own garden! Encouraging more individuals and communities to take the initiative in crafting green spaces that contribute to the local ecosystem.
As seasons change, the garden’s ongoing evolution serves as a reminder that every plant, every exchange, and every effort leaves an indelible mark on both the landscape and the community it supports. With the Trillium Award as inspiration, we look forward to witnessing the growth of similar endeavors across the city.
The Trillium Awards program was established in 1956 to promote community pride and encourage and promote excellence in landscape design and maintenance making a positive contribution to Hamilton.
As you walk through the neighbourhood, you might notice the small trillium awards in several gardens. White Trilliums are awarded to the top 20 gardens in each ward. White trilliums are judged again and the top scoring garden is awarded a Pink Trillium, one per ward.
Congratulations to the people in Ward 2 and in the North End who received an award.