We often hear about preserving “seed diversity.” But what if gardens had a way of celebrating the diversity of its many gardeners? Sally and Sandra quickly discovered that they both had been newcomers to Canada. Today, both have spent more of their lives in Canada than in their respective countries of birth. Sandra came to Canada from Limbé, Haiti in 1990 with her parents. Sally came to Canada in 1974 after she had finished graduate school in her native USA. Sandra had finished undergraduate studies at the University of Windsor when she took off to study law in London, England.
Spending time in London allowed Sandra to experience many cultures not often visible in small-town Ontario. For Sally, growing up in New York City, the reverse was true. However, in Toronto, Sally found that minority cultures flourished in the Canadian mosaic and seemed far less isolated than in her native land.
Both are independent women, devoted to community service. Both have travelled widely, and Sally is passionate about languages. Sandra aims to be a lawyer for marginalized communities. Sally, who was Oshawa’s multicultural librarian for seven years, still devotes most of her time to volunteering for local Oshawa groups. Both women cite education and travel as critical in their growth.
While Sandra finds refuge in her Christian faith, Sally is a fervent atheist. This proves that gardens can create “companion planters” no matter the age, ethnicity, language, beliefs, gender or sexual orientation, education or life goals. To be sure, these two gardeners will stay linked no matter where they may land.