By LindaChan, Montreal Street Allotment Gardener &

Marion Yas, Garden Committee Member, James Bay Neighbourhood Association

Nestled in the Montreal Street allotment gardens, lies a tiny oasis of greenery and water, an environment that is peaceful, yet at the same time, vibrant with colour and life. 

This is Linda's garden. More than a food garden, it was designed to be multi-functional, with a pollinator area, a herb spiral, compost bin, and a miniature pond. There’s even a patio, where Linda can relax and play her recorder or simply watch the bees and hummingbirds.

The edibles section includes leeks, goji, sea buckthorn, garlic, and chives, growing happily amongst a variety of flowers and sedums. The unfiltered concrete pond has been planted with a few water hyacinths, duck weed, and an umbrella palm—an inviting home for frogs and dragonflies. The addition of small sculptures, a mural on the compost bin, splatter-painted planter boxes, and a driftwood gate has created an artistic space for people, plants, and animals.

The design of this allotment garden was inspired by Spring Ridge Commons, an urban food forest/permaculture garden which Linda has coordinated since October 2010. Much of the structural work was done by Mikael Jahmal, and the lovely mural was painted by Sean Newton, both friends of Linda's and stewards of Spring Ridge Commons. 

The fences surrounding Linda's allotment, and defining the different areas within, are made from driftwood or reclaimed and repurposed wood; the paint used for the wood and mural is environmentally friendly acrylic. 

For more  info on natural gardening, please visit