Alleyne and Barbara Cook have been our gardening mentors for over 20 years. We first met Barbara when we had our then day table at the Lonsdale Quay Market in 1991 and she bought a marble flower vase.
Since then, the Cooks have been extremely generous to Michelle and me, giving us advice for our own sculpture garden, introducing us to Vancouver’s elite gardeners as well as giving us many wonderful plants.
Alleyne’s life’s work has been with gardens and horticulture, and he has developed the “biggest little garden” on Vancouver’s North Shore. Their North Vancouver property is an awkward pie-shaped lot where the Cooks have raised their two children and transformed the space into a beautiful garden oasis, teeming with rare and unusual plants.
But time marches on, and the Cooks acknowledge that they cannot upkeep their oasis much longer. So instead of it going to ruin, Alleyne is donating his life’s work to the new Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden in Sechelt, BC, Canada. The first phase of his donation happened this past Weds. and over the next few years, the remainder of his prized treasures will be transplanted to other public gardens.
This is a bitter sweet time for our friends. While it is wonderful to know that beauty you have nurtured for your entire life will now be enjoyed my many people long after you are gone, it must be heartbreaking to see that beauty leave your own nest. It is a lesson I had to learn long ago with my own art.
Congratulations Cookies and thank you for your generous gesture to the West Coast of BC!