The Leaside Gardener: The Magic of the Bayview Pixies


The Bayview Pixies. Photo By: Peter Tucker.
Photo By: Peter Tucker.

Like a tiny seed that blows in the wind and lands on fertile soil, the magic of unseen forces stirs and something new begins.

In 2015 a retired teacher and local resident wrote a letter about Bayview Ave. Not only did she identify the problem of weeds, trash and dying trees, she offered a solution. She was willing to spend her time along with a few of her neighbours to help clean it up and make it beautiful.

That letter was redirected to me, a board member of the newly formed Bayview Leaside BIA. I was inspired!

I contacted Carol, who wrote the letter, and Helen, another local resident and popular advocate for our street trees. Together we brainstormed the possibilities.

Other BIAs had volunteer garden groups. Could we have Pixies?

On February 16, 2016, the Bayview Leaside BIA voted yes to the Bayview Pixies as our volunteer gardening group. From that day on, the Pixies were official and would be provided with protective aprons, supplies…and coffee breaks.

It was the coffee breaks that turned this gardening group into a sisterhood. We became close friends as we shared our life stories, creating a deep regard for each other. We learned our strengths and weaknesses and worked them to our advantage. We saw that together we were so much stronger and together we could get things done. This was the kind of energy we needed with Mother Nature being in charge. So we baked in the heat, froze in the cold, got drenched and blown around.

Sure, we look cute in our garden smocks; even I smile when I see the Pixies. But what you’re really looking at is a CBC executive, an urban planner, a designer, veterinarian, restaurateur, a few journalists and many teachers. All retired professional women using their time and talent for good. That’s who the Bayview Pixies are.

We’re all about beauty, but we’re not about making the world pretty. We’re about connecting people to the nature around us and showing them why it matters. We opened a door of communication and invited everyone in.

That’s the magic of the Bayview Pixies. I’m happy to say it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

In September 2016, Leaside Life gave the Pixies a cover story with “The Pixies work their magic on Bayview.” That was our first big moment and we still feel the joy of that day.

2017 has been great year too. It brought us an award of recognition from the Leaside Garden Society, a federal grant from the New Horizons for Seniors Program, and in September, the Bayview Leaside BIA gave us a garden party thank you luncheon. Not only have been in Leaside Life, but we’ve also been in The Post, The Town Crier and the Bayview Bulldog, which has brought attention to every special Pixie moment.

For us, it’s the people walking and shopping on Bayview who mean the most. When we hear “great job, the street looks beautiful, thank you Pixies,” we know we’ve made a connection.

I might be the leader of the Bayview Pixies, the one organizing the outings and planning our tasks, but no one can take credit for this amazing crew. I think it’s more the magic of unseen forces at work. Don’t you?

About Debora Kuchme 66 Articles
After a 30-year career as a fashion designer, Debora worked at Horticultural Design for over a decade. Now with her concerns about climate change, she hopes to help local gardeners find positive solutions for a greener and healthier neighbourhood. As a board member of the Bayview Leaside BIA, she created the Bayview Pixies, a volunteer group introducing sustainable gardening practice to Bayview.