I have never been one for gardening, not passionately, but I admire those who are. Far above the street noise and activity are the rooftop gardens of Vancouver. Full grown trees on tops of buildings are visible from afar, but not visible from below are the many small gardens filled with vegetables, herbs and flowers. Each is so different from the other, with their assortment of plants, tiny hothouses, green houses and bird houses.
The roof top gardens have taken on a life of their own, giving city condo dwellers a chance to experiment with growing fresh herbs, tomatoes and flowers. They are out of reach to deer, rabbits, racoons or other creatures that normally disturb gardens. The flowers attract butterflies and insects and the birds are taking a renewed interest as well.
At street level, the once high-maintenance lawns and boulevards have been converted into more natural and self-tending gardens with local plants and sea grasses. Communal gardens are increasingly filling public lands; back yards and lanes are being planted. Soon sunflowers will be peaking over the fences.
Back on our rooftop, with its BBQ, children's sandbox and communal gardens, we can sit on the benches and watch the gardeners putter with watering cans, hoses and tools. We are satisfied to simply watch the strawberries and green beans grow.