River’s Edge club creates special garden

TORONTO – The ladies of the River’s Edge Garden Club believed they had to do something to promote breast cancer awareness as well as memorialize those who have died from the disease and celebrate the survivors.

The result – a “Garden of Hope” consisting mainly of flowering plants boasting the color pink at the entrance of Newburg Landing Park.

The garden, which is situated on the right-hand side of the driveway to the park, includes a plethora of plants in different shades of pink along with a pink ribbon, the logo for breast cancer awareness.

The ladies of the club, which was founded in September 1998, said they were compelled to create the garden this year because cancer has touched the club in a personal way, according to Betty Stewart.

It’s called the Garden of Hope,” she said. “We’ve had a member die of breast cancer. so this group has been affected by cancer.”

“We’ve lost two members to cancer,” said member Mary Bilchak.

The garden is centered around a hydrangea, while annuals such as pink geraniums line the garden’s border, along with brick pavers and a white fence in the background. A moss rose also takes center stage, while next year the club is hoping the resurrection flower also will bloom in the spring, said Stewart.

“The resurrection flower is part of the lily family,” she said, adding all members worked on the project. “This is the first year we’ve done the Garden of Hope.”

The idea for the project came from a brochure one of the members brought to a club meeting. From there the idea blossomed, said member Ruth Sutherin.

“This was also to honor the survivors (of breast cancer), because there are many more survivors now,” said Sutherin. “My husband Bill cut out the ribbon design for us and Debbie Artman did the art work. We have a lot of talented members in this club.” Members vowed to keep the Garden of Hope a continuing project to raise awareness of the issue.

“We need to find some new kinds of flowers,” said Stewart. There are new kinds coming out every year.”

Club members involved also include Beth Cooper, Mary Jane Ighnat, Alica Joynson, Ginny Popson, Gail Saner, Goldie Smurda and Sharon Foglio.