Both running and gardening have given me a profound appreciation for the nuances of spring.
Living in a climate that leans precariously toward cooler temperatures even in the most hospitable of seasons tends to bring out either hope and joy or despair and gloom in folks.
I’ve noticed that runners and gardeners fit the “hope” category, since we lean towards remarking on and enjoying every subtle improvement in our circumstances. I am quite determined therefore always to pursue both activities even after I become a doddering old woman who talks to her plants.
The Memorial University’s Botanical Gardens is a treasure. When we first bought our house, eight years ago, our lot looked like this:
We went to the gardens for information, inspiration and to see what might possibly grow without too much fussy care and without taking over the yard.
I recently heard a prominent gardener who was flown in to speak at a local home and garden show talking about soil improvement and one thing that he said really struck home. He said (and I’m paraphrasing loosely here),
You folks have the most wonderful resource here. Anyone know what it is? The Botanical Gardens at the Memorial University. It’s one of the top three or four gardens in Canada. I go there every single time I’m in town. Even when they’re not open, I call ahead and get a chance to see what’s new. And you know what always astonishes me?
There’s no one there.
He’s right, you know.
It is a gem of a garden and there’s something new to see every week (every day, even).
Because it’s an active garden, with all sorts of things going on, there’s also regularly new information. They have kids’ weekend programs, the cheapest and coolest summer camps in town and trails to walk and think on.
Annual membership is only $35 for a family, which gets you unlimited entrance while the garden is open and first dibs on the plant sales. It’s worth it for those alone!