Lorne Daniel discovers that a small, unspoken gesture can brighten your street.
One of the things I love about my new neighbourhood of Fairfield, in Victoria (British Columbia, Canada) is the variety of “faces” presented by homes in the community. Each house, condo or apartment has a different look (no cookie-cutter concepts here) but most importantly every yard reflects an individual personality.
Some yards are manicured like English gardens. Others are a charming tangle of wildflowers. Some walkways are concrete, others stone or brick. There are little picket fences and tall hedges.
The broad strokes of urban planning set the stage but individual initiative can really set the tone and ambiance of a neighbourhood.
Walking home the other day from an amble down to the waterfront, I passed this home. It offers even more to the neighbourhood than most — it offers flowers and trust.
The front yard sports an impressive array of carefully pruned flowers. I’ll never know my flowers by name — but I’m no less impressed by the wafts of scents and the spray of colours.
These flowers are so impressive that one might be tempted to snatch one. Perhaps this is how things got started. I don’t know.
But at the fence is this quaint little shelf with bowls of freshly cut flowers in water. Passersby are invited to take them — for a price.
In tiny lettering, it says, “Coin Slot— $5 a bunch.” And “Thank you.” I’ve never seen the owners but I’ve passed here before and know it’s been in operation for at least a couple years. I presume this honour system works.
The owners of this little yard honour their neighbourhood and the neighbourhood gives back.
I had no money in my pocket this day. But I will return.
All photos © Lorne Daniel, 2011. ll Rights Reserved.