New Sakura-so’s garden is tenderly cared for by tenants with help from the gardener and local flower providers. One afternoon in April, while slowly driving out of Nikkei Place, I noticed two ladies at the corner of Kingsway and Sperling, tending to a flower garden made for the upcoming Polygon condominium project, “Luna”. They seemed on first glance to be a couple of ladies digging up faded flowers. As one glanced up to wipe her brow, I could see they were tenants of New Sakura-so—Ida-san and Ingrid-san. In their resourceful ways, I imagine that they were saving money by finding re-usable plants, and would have contacted the project across the street for the flowers.
Moving forward to June, in front of New Sakura-so, are the prettiest marigolds. Fully in bloom, in bright orange, red, and burnt orange, there are possibly 500 marigolds appearing everywhere, creating the border for the long lasting, recurring perennials. I think I also see a cluster of daffodils. I see again, it’s Ida-san and Ingrid-san, in the garden, deadheading old flowers, and tending to the marigolds generously donated by Bob-san, who grow these flowers from seed for the National Nikkei Museum and Heritage Centre’s Volunteer Auxiliary plant sale. Many flats must have gone to New Sakura-so. They are now brightening up the scenery for the senior’s residence.
The New Sakura-so gardens—both in the front and the vegetable garden on the west side, where the beans, potatoes, herbs, green onions and other vegetables grow—are a labor of love. Living in an apartment, hasn’t taken away one of life’s greatest pleasures. Thank you very much to Ida-san, Ingrid-san, volunteers, and the donors of all the special plants, for enhancing the lifestyle at New Sakura-so and letting those of us who walk by the garden enjoy the fruits of your labor. I hear that in winter, the pansies come out! New Sakura-so and Nikkei Home are operated by the Nikkei Seniors Health Care and Housing Society, a charitable organization.