In 1938, back when the Botanical Garden was still a huge construction site, some fifty children were already coming here to try out their green thumbs. It was perfectly natural to have children's garden plots on the site, in fact, for Brother Marie-Victorin himself felt it very important to introduce French-Canadian children to nature, as a way of encouraging them to chose careers in science. Barely three years later, there were already 200 budding gardeners at work!
From Sherbrooke to Pie-IX
The Young Gardeners’ Own plots were originally located along Sherbrooke Street, which looked almost like a country road at the time. But as automobiles became more popular, the parking lot was expanded and the garden plots shifted elsewhere. They were relocated several times over the years, before settling in their current spot along Pie-IX Boulevard in 1991. Nowadays the Youth Gardens program also includes trips to market gardens, meetings with experts from the Botanical Garden and play time.
Growing life skills
The Young Gardeners’ Own program was renamed Youth Gardens in the early 1990s, but its mission hasn’t changed, i.e. to give young people ages 8 to 15 a chance to experience an entire gardening season. They learn horticulture and botany, of course, but also perseverance, the importance of working together and pride in a job well done. Valuable lessons sowed, to be reaped over a lifetime!