Garden club blossoms with sculpture unveiling

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The Westville and Area Garden Club planted a seed of an entirely different kind.

Following the day-long series of workshops and idea exchanges of the Nova Scotia Association of Garden Clubs Region 2 Fall Rally — which the club hosted — events moved to Acadia Park where a gardening monument was formally unveiled.

The raceless, ageless, genderless, steel gardener sits on top of a large slab of rock believed to have originally come from the Isle of Skye, in Scotland. Neither the rock, nor its origins, are a recent discovery, however given the town — and the area — is largely populated by people of Scottish descent, it was a fitting foundation, as club president Margie Beck explained.

“It was a piece of rock that ballasted the ship,” Beck said, “because they had them low in the water to come quicker. This ballast would keep the ship upright …”

Beck said the ballast of old can be seen throughout the town of Pictou and elsewhere, while the piece in question was located in Westville.

“We wanted something to show our heritage and build on what was a good base, and a solid base,” Beck said. “They (the Scottish settlers) took all the seeds with them in order to grow their gardens and that.”

That the sculpture is without race, age or gender and is made of sturdy steel is fitting on multiple levels.

“It could be you, it could be me …” Beck said. “We wanted it to have no race, no nationality, because gardening is universal. No gender, no time frame.”

Beck explained that the club had already worked the small plot of land surrounding the monument and they intend to continue building the area, and also noted that the town has been helpful in their efforts. Aside from mounting a plaque, the club will be working towards developing the space into a butterfly garden full of daisies and bright, colourful flowers that attract them.

“It’ll continue to grow,” Beck said. “We’re working hand and hand with the town to develop this beautiful space. That was one of the things, when you think about seeds growing, we’ve certainly a wonderful seed growing with our town and with our community to enhance this place. I can’t say enough. They’ve watered our flowers, they supported by moving things — rocks and everything else. It’s just made it that much more special that we could do it in co-ordination with the other members of our town and citizens. It’s here for them to enjoy. This isn’t the Westville and Area Garden Club anymore. We’ve donated this as a public special place for people to come.”

The sculpture is part of Canada 150 celebrations.

Posing with the new sculpture in Acadia Park, Westville, are, from the left, front: Sally Polley, Bill White, Westville and Area Garden Club President Margie Beck, and Marguerite Munro. Back row: Sam Graham, Darren Martin and Westville Mayor Roger MacKay.

(Cameron photo)

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