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Garden of Hope blooms at County’s hospital

 

Pictured, from left, at the Hope Garden at QHC PECMH are: Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation; Ben Clarke, with the Wentworth Landscapes team; Liam Filjeski with the Wenworth Landscapes team; Nancy Parks, Back the Build campaign co-chair; Ally Davies with the Wentworth Landscapes team; Dennis Grant with the Wentworth Landscapes team and Scott Wentworth, owner of Wentworth Landscapes. Briar Boyce photo

Ben Clarke is helping Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital show off nature’s best shade of yellow – the colour of hope.

Taking part in the Hope is Growing campaign to help lift spirits during the pandemic, Clarke, a staff member on Wentworth Landscapes team, was excited to participate in the Communities in Bloom initiative that encourages everyone across Canada to create a Hope Garden for 2021.

The Garden of Hope idea is one that is gaining traction across Canada and beyond, with the idea to see the land awash with gardens featuring yellow, the international colour of hope.

The first Hope Garden planted in Prince Edward County was on the grounds of Quinte Health Care Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital. Scott Wentworth and his team spent three days transforming and beautifying the space just outside the emergency entrance at the hospital.

“Working on this project meant a lot to me because PECM Hospital has been a saving grace for this County. I was born at this hospital and being involved in building this new garden was a way for me to give back and show how thankful I am to have access to health care close to home,” Clarke said. “I’m proud to have been a part of building this garden. It’s nice to feel like our team has done a little something to make the day brighter for anyone who has to visit the hospital.”

Clarke, who recently became part of the Wentworth Landscapes team, was part of a crew of 10 that helped design, build and plant the garden. Staff at the hospital remarked how positive and friendly the team was during the construction of the garden, which occurred in mid-May in intense heat.

“Hope is essential to the human spirit. As our communities move through this time of COVID, hope has an even greater role in our lives,” said Wentworth. “We’ve seen an incredible surge in people reconnecting with nature, the outdoors, and their gardens. The Hope is Growing campaign is an elegantly simple way to focus our individual and collective expressions of hope. I am very proud of our team who enthusiastically rose to the occasion to build this garden for our County hospital.”

From sunflowers to columbine, QHC PECMH will be proudly showcasing yellow flowers and plants this summer. Some of the other varieties of flora planted include coreopsis, Echinacea, yarrow, beebalm, delphiniums, daylilies and salvia.

“It’s very important to us at Wentworth Landscapes to show our support to our community. Especially for the hospital and all of the staff who have worked so hard over the pandemic to keep us as healthy as possible,” said Clarke. “I know first-hand how hard it is to experience illness and loss, so it means a lot knowing this project might be able to lift someone’s spirit when they’re experiencing similar circumstances.”

“It has been a difficult 15 months, living through the pandemic,” noted Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation. “Communities need positivity and hopefulness in their lives now more than ever. This meaningful campaign is inclusive, easy, and fun for all ages. Whether it’s flowers, fruits, shrubs or vegetables – just plant the seeds!”.

“This bright yellow Hope Garden is a ray of sunshine for the patients, staff and visitors to our hospital. Our community can enjoy this beautiful space on their own time and reflect on their hope for the future.”

Hope Gardens can be grown in planters or gardens, front yards or back yards, parks or playgrounds, or balconies, baskets, and barrels – anywhere there is room to grow something yellow, whether it’s fabulous forsythia, succulent squash, or dazzling daisies. Think yellow, plant your favourites and watch them grow, encouraged Wentworth.

The Hope Garden, made up of perennials, will be transferred to the new hospital, once opened.

“Wentworth Landscapes have deep roots within the community. Since 1991, Scott, Yolande and their team have worked hard to create outdoor spaces that bring people together. Their commitment to improving the overall health and well-being of this community through projects like this Hope Garden is one of the reasons Prince Edward County is such a beautiful place to live and visit”, said Nancy Parks, co-chair of the Back the Build campaign.

For more information on how you can start your own Hope Garden visit https://www.hopeisgrowing.ca/.

 

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