Elizabeth May, National Leader of Canada’s Green Party, recently chose Legacy Garden as a public venue to speak to Prince Edward Islanders. She could have chosen a conference centre venue, or a hall, for the rally, but she didn’t. She chose a food garden.
Elizabeth May with Eliza Knockwood. Eliza, a Mi’kmaq woman from Abegweit First Nation, honoured May with an eagle feather and sacred tobacco.
Gardens are more than sites of cultivation. They are fascinating repositories of meaning and identity. They also mark and produce culture, and they reveal much about individuals, their aspirations and associations, and the peoples and societies that created them.
For me, sunflowers symbolize Legacy Garden. They have self-seeded and grow tall and strong throughout.
I’m impressed that May came to Legacy, which is what we garden practitioners fondly call this special and favourite place of ours. It is a landscape located in the heart of Charlottetown.
As with all gardens, Legacy has a history reflected in the plants we grow, and in the people who grow them. In the place of the garden we are connected with our ancestors who grew the same plants, whether indigenous or transferred in from another part of the world. The diversity of the plants we grow in our gardens reflects the diversity of Canadians.
Peter Bevan-Baker recently made history as PEI’s first Green MLA. Peter introduced May at the Legacy Garden Rally.
Gardens are places of abundance, nutrition and prosperity. I suggest that they are also places of resilience, honour and celebration. May’s visit to Legacy demonstrates this.
Becka Viau (Charlottetown) and Lynne Lund (Malpeque) with Elizabeth May. Missing from the photo is Teresa Doyle (Cardigan).
It was particularly wonderful to witness the ardour and conviction of the three Prince Edward Island women who also spoke at the Legacy Garden Rally. They are candidates in the up-coming Federal election. Serious and compelling participants in democratic reform, they, like May, spoke of democratic repair, renewal, and the re-invention of broken social institutions.
Lynne Lund is running in Malpeque, which is my riding.
Back in the days of Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister, “democracy” was limited. For starters, you had to be white and male to vote. How things have changed, and are yet changing.
Hope is stirring in my heart.