Right away, you can tell that two avid gardeners live here.
These gloves don’t stay idle for long.
Gail and Sam have lived in their home in a city east of Toronto for 25 years.
Theirs is a mature, complex garden that is tended conscientiously every day. It has trees, vines, ponds, statuary, gazebos, and plants that grow in the ground and in a multitude of containers.
Of course, a gardener’s work is never done. If you’re a gardener, you’ll relate to this moment:
The camera comes out and Gail spies a weed — way, way at the back of the garden.
“Wait!” she says. “Let me remove that weed!” As she pulls one, she finds one more. And one more.
A Canadian who was born and raised in Jamaica, Gail has fond memories of the island.
This garden helps her to keep connected to it.
“We come out here and we’re in Jamaica!” says Gail.
The garden is also a tribute to her mother, who died several years ago.
Gail is a passionate gardener. Luckily, her husband Sam, of Italian-Canadian background, also loves gardening — and Jamaica.
To see them in the garden is to see a team that works well together.
He does the building and hardscaping (paths, gazebos, trellises, stone walls, ponds, decking, etc.) while she chooses and takes care of the plants.
To no-one’s surprise, there’s a banana tree, rescued when the friend who had it was having trouble caring for it.
It’s among umpteen tropical plants growing in containers spread throughout the garden.
Most of them would be quite at home in a Jamaican garden.
There’s even an old copper gallon-jug which was originally used to measure rum at the Appleton estate in Jamaica. It belonged to her father, and, thrilled with the historical significance of the jug, Gail was very pleased when her dad gave it to her for her garden in Canada.
Gail’s an active volunteer in Canada’s Jamaican-Canadian community. She was a member of the Toronto committee celebrating Jamaica’s 50th anniversary in 2012 with a variety of cultural events, including concerts, author readings, an art show and other activities. That project is over, but when Gail wants to feel a connection to Jamaica, all she has to do is to step into her garden.
Thanks, Gail and Sam, for allowing me to visit with you in your beautiful garden.