Saturday, June 22 was a beautiful day for a stroll through the garden. More specifically, Saturday morning was a perfect plant moment despite the turbulent clouds bubbling through the atmosphere. Volunteers at Humboldt’s Heritage Garden in the downtown core welcomed visitors for a tour and interpretive session.  

Heritage Garden volunteer Doris Hale has been involved since the first year of the operation in 2005. She’s been pulling weeds and tending to the beds ever since. She tended the garden alongside her husband, Fred, until his passing two years ago.  

In addition to plants that are indigenous to the region, there’s another important historical facet to the garden, Doris explains.  

"There are perennials that our grandmothers 100 years ago would have grown, so they would be heritage type. Almost all of the plants were donated except for the plants that were bought from greenhouses or lumber yards.” 

Volunteers continue to spend hours through the spring and summer months maintaining the pathways, deadheading plants, weeding and generally tending to the health and well-being of the floral denizens. The work force is supplemented by City of Humboldt staff and summer students who bring materials and help sometimes.  

A variety of perennials, shrubs and trees course through the pathways. While blooming is late due to a wet and relatively sunless spring, promising buds are emerging. Irises, lilies, roses, hollyhocks, honeysuckles are just a small sampling of that variety. One of the most intriguing features of the garden resides at the back, the west end, with an arrangement in honour of veterans who fought in the Great Wars.  

Doris explains the layout of the flowers as they rise from the ground skyward. 

“There’s the red of the poppies that signifies the blood of the people and soldiers who died in the wars.” 

The yellow of the thunbergia climbing an entrance trellis is meant to signify the sunrise. A circle of baby’s breath with its white and blue signifies the ocean and foam arising from the breakers. Circling behind those are blue delphiniums, indicative of the sky. At the back of the installation is a spread of orange honeysuckle that mimics the sunset.  

The garden’s central location means it's an excellent spot to stop for lunch, a walking break with a friend or just a quiet chance to commune with nature. More information along with a brochure and map is available online, courtesy of Humboldt Cultural Services.