By Debra Downey, Senior Editor
Ancaster’s whimsical, collaborative community garden is settling into its new digs on Wilson Street West near the fairgrounds.
Creative director and co-founder Erin Davis said the new location means new opportunities for volunteers, artists and donors.
“We now have raised beds and a bigger area to grow food for the local food bank and local women’s shelter,” said Davis. “We have an awesome new landlord who graded the land and gave us a gravel parking space and water to keep our garden growing on the days we don’t get the liquid sunshine.
“We have had much help from the city with mulch and have received more local business support for growing.”
Davis, who moved to Ancaster from the High Park area of Toronto, brought the gardens to her new hometown in 2012 as a means of spurring community involvement and spirit.
In its inaugural year in downtown Ancaster, the Discovery Gardens started with fewer than 20 people and ended up with more than 70 youth volunteers and many visitors. According to Davis, up to 25 people a day came through the gardens to walk, sit, snuggle and giggle, or all of the above.
“With over 4,500 visitors our first two years and more than 200 volunteers, I believe we have blossomed into a wonder-filled community space,” Davis said.
The Discovery Gardens are home to themed gardens like the Beer Garden filled with barley, hops and rye, along with salsa ingredients such as jalapenos, onions and tomatoes. The interactive “pot” garden features lavender and other herbs people can touch, rub and smell, while the Memory Garden includes forget-me-nots, Chinese ivy, daisies and a gingko tree.
Davis said the new location at 1631 Wilson St. W. has also allowed local artists’ works to be featured in imaginative and eye-catching displays.
“Branch arbour now nestles in our Memory Garden,” said Davis. “We have cedar rail wood art, peace-inspired stepping stones for the Peas garden and the Girl Guides have not only helped create the Pot garden, but have painted all the pots proudly in Girl Guide colours.”
For more information on the Ancaster Discovery Gardens, click here.