WOLFVILLE, NS - Horticulture students who received a surprise donation as a thank-you for the good work they did in Kent Lodge’s Quiet Garden have paid it forward to help others.
Students in the Horticulture and Landscape Technology Program at the Nova Scotia Community College Kingstec Campus in Kentville spent three months this past fall working in the Quiet Garden, located off Main Street in Wolfville. The work was part of a student Service Learning Project.
Owned by Patricia Moore, the garden is the first in Nova Scotia to receive designation as a Quiet Garden. As a thank-you to the students, Moore surprised them with a cheque for $500. The students decided to donate the money to the NSCC Kingstec Campus Make Way Campaign fund.
The campaign aims to make post-secondary education more accessible and to give students the tools they need to succeed in the Nova Scotia job market.
Touched by Moore’s generous act, the students created a Christmas wreath and a bouquet for her. Neighbour and second year Horticulture and Landscape Technology student Cody Whynot presented the gifts to Moore on behalf of the group.
Whynot said getting to work on the Quiet Garden is “definitely a big step for my career.” He and his fellow students all considered it a great experience.
“I really recommend anyone that is in the area to go there, it’s beautiful all year round, even in the wintertime,” he said.
Whynot’s involvement started when he had a summer job working at Acadia University’s K.C. Irving Centre. He and his supervisor went to visit the Kent Lodge gardens. Whynot said Moore was looking for someone to do some grounds maintenance. His supervisor asked him if he’d be willing to take on the work and Whynot agreed.
Whynot said that when he started, there was quite a bit that needed to be done and he felt a little overwhelmed. Whynot asked his classmates if they’d come and help him and they obliged. They decided to design a garden plot for Moore.
The students are aware of the support that Moore and her late husband, Reg, have shown to NSCC students. Whynot said they donated the monetary gift from Moore to the college’s Make Way Campaign because they recognize the difficult financial position many students face in the pursuit of post-secondary education. They wanted to pay homage to the Moore’s by investing in future student success, just as they have done.
Moore said the students dug up two beds, refurbishing one and making the other over with their own design. She was very impressed with the work. It was a good learning experience for the students and a good public service.
She said her late husband’s garden had always been open to the public but he passed away before it could be registered as a Quiet Garden. It is now the only official Quiet Garden in Nova Scotia, the eleventh in Canada. Moore said the garden is open to the public year-round from sunrise to sunset.
She said her family established a scholarship for horticultural students and that’s how they first came into contact with the NSCC Horticulture and Landscape Technology class three or four years ago. This past year, the students offered to help with the garden.
Moore said she figured out what it would have cost to have an established company do the work the students completed and used this as the basis for her donation. The students were given the opportunity to decide how to use it.
She said her husband, who used to teach at Acadia, was concerned with community college students and wanted to help ensure their success by providing assistance.
The Quiet Garden at Kent Lodge was blessed as part of an ecumenical service this past September. Moore said at the time that the flora reflects her late husband’s respect for the land and his interest in landscape architecture.
Did you know?
Kent Lodge is recognized as Wolfville’s oldest house. It’s a heritage property partially built on an Acadian foundation dating to before 1755. In 1761, the present house was constructed by New England Planters. It was named for Queen Victoria’s father, the Duke of Kent, who is said to have once visited the home.
There is an Acadian kitchen garden out front and a more formal garden to the rear of the property reflecting English influences. The larger garden features sculptures by Nova Scotia artists. Hand built rock walls surrounding the property reflect Reg Moore’s career teaching geology.
Beginning in Britain in 1992, Quiet Gardens were the vision of Philip Roderick, an Anglican priest who was working in the Diocese of Oxford, England, at the time. There are now more than 300 Quiet Gardens worldwide, found at private homes, churches, schools and hospitals. The others in Canada are located in Ontario and British Columbia. The gardens are intended to inspire silent contemplation.
- With files from Wendy Elliott