O, Canada: For gardeners

I was born in England, but my home is Canada. On this Canada Day, here are five reasons that, as a gardener, I’m glad to be Canadian:

1. The Maple Leaf, our emblem dear, the maple leaf forever.
I love that our national symbol is something living and growing; I especially love that it has the strength and endurance of a tree.

2. Winter.
Yes, in the midst of summer heat, it’s useful to remember how many things thrive in our gardens because they get a cold, winter dormancy. No peonies without snow. Keep reciting that as you shovel.

3. Water.
Soon to be Earth’s most precious commodity, and in Canada this essential resource exists in abundance. Pray we don’t squander it.

4. Space.
Ditto – both our arable land and our natural ecosystems.

5. Diversity.
First, of landscapes. Our country also stretches from sea to shining sea, with terrain from maritime to mountains, arctic to desert. (Yes, even desert. See: http://www.desert.org/) Trying to generalize about gardening in Canada is like trying to generalize about the whole Northern Hemisphere. That makes it more fun.

Next, of peoples. Yesterday, at Sarah’s allotment, we saw our city’s diversity in what was growing in other gardens, from Roma tomatoes to bok choy, amaranth and okra. That makes it not only more fun but more delicious.

Happy Canada Day, Canadian gardeners. What would you add?


  1. Canada's forests are a part of our identity that I treasure. From the boreal forests that stretch across much of the top of our provinces, to the temperate rain forests of the Queen Charlotte islands to the sugar maples that thrive in Quebec and New Brunswick.

    We are so fortunate.

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