The Year of the Garden! How will you celebrate?

If you haven’t heard of the Year of the Garden yet, let me tell you now, this celebration is a big deal and the first event of its kind in the world!

It all started last March when the Canadian Garden Council proclaimed 2022 as the Year of the Garden to commemorate Canada’s rich horticulture and garden heritage and to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association. At least that’s how it started, but it went on to honour the First Nations’ history of living in harmony with plants and nature. The council also included how sustainable gardening can help to fight climate change and added the important role that gardening and nature have on our mental and physical wellbeing.  

Last June, that proclamation became a declaration in the House of Commons when the federal government declared 2022 as the Year of the Garden. 

Here at home, our councillor, Jaye Robinson, seconded the motion to proclaim 2022 as the Year of the Garden at City Council, which was adopted unanimously. Toronto was the very first city to commit to honouring the Year of the Garden!

Now, we are all invited to commemorate the past, celebrate the present and create a legacy for a more sustainable future. Are you ready?     

The Year of the Garden 2022 will launch on March 20, 2022, the first day of spring, but here’s a sneak peek at some plans in play for Leaside.         

As this is a national celebration, Communities in Bloom has been encouraging everyone to get involved and paint the town red by planting red flowers. With this in mind, the Leaside Garden Society will make an effort to paint our own neighbourhood red with primarily red plantings in all the community gardens they maintain. 

But that’s not all. The LGS is planning on bringing back their popular Magical Gardens of Leaside Tour, scheduled to take place on National Garden Day, Sat., June 18. And this year, they hope to coordinate efforts with Garden Ontario and the City of Toronto to make it an especially memorable experience. Green thumbs crossed they will be able to offer the tour in-person this year.     

The Milne House Garden Club has been busy making plans, too, though most of their plans are still in the works. Dale Gardiner, a member of the club, wrote me to say, “We have many ideas including how to incorporate the colour red in plantings or designs for both projects and club events. Our hope is that we will be through this pandemic by spring to a point where we could have a garden party in celebration of the Year of the Garden.” Dale also mentioned an ambitious plan to make the children’s program at the Botanical Gardens a part of the Year of the Garden celebration. Check out their new website for more information and updates.       

As for me, I intend to celebrate the Year of the Garden by thinking as small as I possibly can. And that doesn’t mean I won’t be doing a lot. It simply means I’ll be looking at the ‘little things’ in my garden to help me connect with nature in a much bigger way.

Starting from the ground up, I will pay greater attention to the health of my garden soil and every microbe that exists within it. I want to observe and understand the insects and local wildlife that call my garden home. And I hope to acknowledge and celebrate every bird, bee and butterfly that enters my garden, because ultimately, they are the best judges of how a ‘Canadian’ garden should be. 

How will you celebrate the Year of the Garden?


About Debora Kuchme 64 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.