Community garden in Cornwallis celebrates Canada 150 with tulips

Published on May 16, 2017

Elizabeth McMichael sits with kids from the YMCA After School Program and some program workers in front of the Canada 150 tulips, which were planted in the shape of the Canadian flag. “I don’t see much of a flag… but they’re still beautiful,” said McMichael.

©Sara Ericsson

Cornwallis Park, NS – Tulips are blooming at Cornwallis Park’s community garden thanks to kids who’ve planted them and Elizabeth McMichael who acquired them.

McMichael applied to receive 400 orange tulips from the Canadian Garden Council, but wasn’t chosen.

Local shop Veseys Bulbs got word and donated 400 orange tulips to the garden.

“I was beyond words,” said McMichael.

“The orange tulip is the national flower of the Netherlands, who Canada helped during the First World War, and we’re a former military base. It just seemed to fit.”

The community garden hosted a Cornwallis Park Bloom Celebration event May 12 to which many people stopped by, including the kids from the YMCA After School program, who helped plant the flowers.

Every plant apart from ten trees in the garden was planted by kids: some local, some from the after-school program and some from Clementsport among other places.

“The community kids really enjoy getting their hands dirty and planting things,” said McMichael.
Sara Ericsson

This includes the red and white Canada 150 tulips, though they were slightly rearranged afterwards to make sure they’d grow.

“I can’t see a Canada flag anywhere here, but it’s still so great to see!” said McMichael.

“You see these places like Niagara Falls which has 30,000 tulips, and I still think this is more beautiful.”

McMichael applied again for the same garden competition and this time was one of 150 gardens chosen from 400 applicants.

The garden has brought more pride to the community and has even encouraged others to grow gardens of their own.

McMichael with some of her favourite orange tulips.

©Sara Ericsson

“We have garden walks through here and the increase in pride in our community is obvious. Lawns are mowed and things look so neat, and it’s really brought people together.”

The garden will participate in the Cornwallis Yard Sale June 3 and will host a Canada 150-themed garden party this August.

The orange tulips, which represent a special connection between the Netherlands and Canada who helped them during the First World War. Cornwallis, as a former military base, shares a bit of that connection through these tulips.
Sara Ericsson

Towards the end of the event, McMichael sat with garden helpers Dorothy Stewart and Deleries Jefferson and watched the kids play among the shrubs, trees and flowers.

Of all the plants in the garden, McMichael’s favourites are the orange tulips.

“They’re just so bright and vibrant. They turned out really beautifully,” she says.