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levels, they are grounding and spiritu- al,” says Jane. “Many people ask me why I did not

stick to native plantings and I use the metaphor of multiculturalism. We live in a multi-cultural community, so on a plant level we can be intercultural too. It is interesting to see how native and non- native species work together. Plants are a great metaphor for life,” Jane explains. Inclusion

To listen to Douglas, Jane and others

involved in this project speak about it, is moving. You can’t help but get swept up in the passion they feel and their pride at just being able to be a part of it. They should be proud, this isn’t just a

garden, it’s a game changer for people. When asked what her proudest

Teaching plants Plants are metaphors and symbols of successes and obstacles that are in their

clients lives. They help lead them to a path of well-being. Here are some of the plants they love to use at the Riverwood Conservancy Enabling Garden: Marigold – These flowers are the best – their colour, scent and sturdiness.

They love that marigolds are easy to see and great for deadheading. Tactile plants – Favourite tactile plants include soft lamb’s ears, woolly

thyme and spongy Corsican mint. Scented plants – Mints and scented geraniums are favourites. Apple scent-

ed geraniums can ignite memories and mint is also used for making tea. Osteospermum – They are just so beautiful. Zinnias – These flowers are great metaphors for life. They spur talk about

stress and how to stay beautiful when you are being invaded by bugs or powdery mildew. Autumn clematis – Its fantastic fall colour signals a change in the season

and begins discussions about fall and winter. Nasturtiums – They grow these from seed and love that they are edible. Vegetables – They grow lots of vegetables including carrots, rattlesnake

beans, blue-podded peas, red Malabar spinach, corn, kale, cabbage, squash, tomatoes and Swiss chard.

moment has been, Jane tells us, “There are so many proud moments in our garden that stand out for me. One, I think is the fact that we are part of a large public garden, the optics of that are very important.” She then goes on to explain how one

day a woman in the park complained to her about all of the concrete. Jane explained that the woman was lucky, that she could walk and that all of this concrete allowed others who weren’t as mobile to come here as well. The woman’s response was that she just wished “they” were somewhere else. “That’s why The Riverwood Conser-

vancy Enabling Garden is here. It doesn’t matter what your challenges are, we are here, we can support you. These individuals have been marginalized in society and we are here to give them a voice. The garden is their voice, they belong here. The garden teaches them so much in such a gentle way. That’s what I am proud of,” she says passion- ately. The number of people taking part in

the Riverwood Conservancy Enabling Garden’s programing has doubled since they opened in 2013. They continue to expand their programming and address an ever wider range of special needs. New programming addresses youth at risk, developed in partnership with a traditional Aboriginal Elder, women who have suffered from violence and teachings by the Elder on Aboriginal medicine. They continue to build rela- tionships with the surrounding hospi- tals. For more information about The Riverwood Conservancy Enabling Garden or to make a donation contact Jane New at enablinggarden@theriver- Now, to get an enabling garden in

For clients unable to stroll the forest, miniatures of the trees have been brought to them. 28 • Beautiful Gardens 2015 every city... K

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