Heritage Display Garden Revitalization Project


The exterior area of the Port Coquitlam Heritage Society's Display Centre on Mary Hill rd.

I seem to be finding garden projects where ever I go these days. It doesn’t take much to get me excited about a project, but this one has really got me energized! There is nothing quite like gardening in public spaces.

The before.

The Port Coquitlam Heritage Society has a display centre on Mary Hill rd in Port Coquitlam. Tucked in beside the police station, across the street from the courthouse. This hidden in plain site location is situated on the side of the building between it and the neighboring apartment complex. It’s a pass through, and frankly there wasn’t much to do here but pass through. Im hoping to help change that.

This is a largest of the garden beds.

It’s not that no one has tried to revitalize this spot before. Many have come and gone, and for their efforts, many plants were stolen.

The long, odd shaped beds.

So how do you combat theft in public gardens? Why is this spot targeted, while so many other beds in front of nearby parks and buisness’ are left to flourish and shine?

One word. Isolation.

Previous attempts to spruce up this space have been done by individuals, who added a few small, but beautiful plants. Those plant were a great improvement, but because of their size and quantity, the space still felt abandoned, or neglected. I’m not excusing plant theft. Not.At.All. But I do firmly believe that a space filled with abundance and life, generally gets more respect from the broader public. They are less likely to walk through a bed packed full of plants. People are less likely to steal, when it looks like someone is regularly tending to the garden. Societal guilt plays a huge factor. Most people behave when they know someone’s paying attention.

The odd shaped bed after one visit, and the addition of a few choice plants.

We have to inject this garden with a little respect! Together with a friend and gardening enthusiast Linda Milne Sliworsky, we purged the garden of weeds. Working the soil, we were happy to see lots of worms. This was good soil. Yay!

A couple of my giant hostas.

Then we added a few plants to start this garden off right. The hostas we planted were from my garden. Although they look large in the picture, they will grow much bigger than shown here. These are just the splits from my giant mother-of-a-hosta at home. These plants are strong! Anyone trying to steal these would have great difficulty digging them up.


This odd little cut out will become a succulent garden.

We relocated some Hens and Chicks that we found at the bottom of one of the near empty pots. This area here gets good sun. A perfect spot for a sun loving succulent garden!

The large bed still needs another weeding.

I donated a lilac shrub, to this back bed. It was an unknown variety that I picked up at a garden party last year during our local garden clubs anniversary bash. Couldn’t think of a better place to dig it in. I’m looking forward to watching it grow, and the fragrant blooms that will follow!

Transplanted plants ready to go!

Although we were finished for the day, we are by no means done. We made plans to get together to work on the garden soon. Time permitting I hope to be back there next week to dig in a bunch of plants plucked from my garden.

Gardening in public is down right addictive! You should give it a try!!! If you’re in my area, give me a shout or send me an email to help out with this community project in the making!


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10 comments on “Heritage Display Garden Revitalization Project

  1. Aaerelon on said:

    That really needed some rehab. It’s looking much better! BTW did those yuccas survive?

    • Laura on said:

      They didn’t. It was so sad! One hung on for a little bit this spring, but it was too cold. Despite their sheltered location, they were another casualty of our odd spring this year.

  2. Kristin on said:

    What a fun project! I know it will turn out beautifully with your green thumb. If it makes just one person smile, you will have been successful.

  3. Mary C. on said:

    Great work!

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