May 2018 – Diane McClymont Peace

Peace in the Garden

Diane McClymont Peace first fell in love with the Central Experimental Farm long ago, back in the Seventies when she was in university and used to bike from her rented rooming house to Agriculture Canada where she had a summer job. “I was just blown away with the beauty and history of the area,” she says.

Nowadays, even though many years have passed, she is still in love with The Farm and happy to volunteer her time there. In the interim, she graduated from Queen’s University and Carleton, worked in the federal government, raised a family and acquired many horticultural and scientific skills that make her an invaluable volunteer. Soon after retiring, she enrolled in the Horticulture Industries Program at Algonquin College. One of the course requirements was to volunteer for a local organization and so naturally, she choose Friends of the Farm. She started her volunteer work as a Friend in the spring of 2013.

She began in the beautiful rose gardens, situated in the Ornamental Gardens at The Farm. Then, she agreed to help out at the Shelter Belt, planting and tending new trees and shrubs. Along the way, she also willingly agreed to provide talks and tours of the Arboretum. Her inspiration and two reference sources were Blooms: An Illustrated History of the Ornamental Gardens at Ottawa’s Central Experimental Farm by Richard Hinchcliff and For the Love of Trees: A Guide to the Trees of Ottawa’s Central Experimental Arboretum, co-authored by Hinchcliff and Richard Popadiouk. Her skills as a tour guide are helped too by the fact that she volunteers as a master gardener and has acquired a lot of knowledge about plants along the way.

Diane remains passionate about her love of gardening, and the importance of The Farm. At home, she continues to enjoy a large, country garden with a diversity of trees, shrubs and beautiful perennial beds. At The Farm, she also helps out at the Victorian Tea, the Friends’ Plant Sale and other one-day events. “I love the diversity of plants, the challenges, the opportunity to learn everyday, and to be physically and mentally fit.”

Julianne Labreche, May 2018. Photo by Polly McColl.