Public Service Commission
They built it, and they came
Heather Orford opens the curtains of her second floor window in her All Soul’s Lane home to overlook Rochford Square and the colorful, grand Victorian mounded flower bed she and a group made a reality 15 years ago.
The garden, at the back of Rochford Square near the government buildings, started with a thousand dollar millennium grant from the City of Charlottetown. The City hired architect Karen Lipps to plan the square, then contracted the garden design and planting to Kevin Smith landscaping.
Orford, along with Chrystyna Holman, Sharon Larter, Cathy Flanagan and Catherine Clough (now deceased) got to work. The city used their grant to buy the plantings and the local landscaping company built the mound encircled with grass and topiary hedges and benches.
It’s a formal Victorian planting, with raised tiers of dusty millar, begonias, mums, marigolds and high-standing lilies. There is almost always a tourist or two, armed with cameras, surveying the visually striking creation.
“If it’s planted early enough in the spring there are all kinds of high school graduation photos there, every weekend all summer long there are weddings,” Orford said.
So many people working in the provincial government buildings enjoy Rochford Square.
A couple of years before his death, Hotelier David Rodd donated $300 to the group to plant a day lily bed at the other end of the square.
“I’m very, very happy it’s attracted so many people, it really is spectacular,” Orford said.
“People really enjoy it, that’s the main thing.”