Vancouver is a small city for a major city…as far as cities go. As a matter of fact, it really has nowhere to grow geographically but up. The whole Lower Mainland is a bit stuck in a triangle between the Pacific, some pretty uninhabitable mountains and the US border, and is so arteried with water, either ocean or river delta, that land is at a premium.
The other day, I had an appointment downtown. Now getting downtown is sometimes a bit of a “take a chance” game to get over bridges and thru traffic, and I found myself with an extra half hour to spare to walk around a little.
I love this temperate, ocean-front climate, and it sure allows for easy green spaces. Most downtown streets have boulevard trees. Most courtyards and corners have lawns and flowers. There are plenty of rooftop gardens, and apiary installations and even a wild meadow roof, so no surprise that against this beautiful skyline I walked thru a community garden.
The big surprise is that it is on a very valuable street corner and completely open and inviting to the public.
No fences, no gates, no signs which say, “these fruits and vegetables are for the gardeners only”. Completely open and inviting, with benches and paths and beds full of loveliness.
And this could be because Vancouverites, (as a general rule), are a friendly bunch, or because gardeners really do want to share, but here, on this street corner next to a major hospital, next to alleyway homelessness, within a hub of a transient community, it could be because these gardeners recognise the need for giving, for fresh fruit and vegetables, clean water and the smell of roses. Because gardeners sometimes just garden for happiness, not for profit, and, because some big corporation hasn’t got its permission/funding/fingers into this valuable little street corner yet, there’s time for gardeners to share.
I like that 😀