The daffodil is a resilient flower. It starts as a bulb thriving through the cold winter months to emerge in the spring as a beautiful yellow flower. The daffodil is a symbol of hope, and for that reason is the focus of the garden.
After the spring-blooming daffodils are finished in the daffodil garden, the annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees continue to showcase colours, shapes and textures through all seasons. Fountain grass, hostas, coneflowers, day lilies, and lavender all bloom at different times of the year for continuous colour.
Almost 20,000 daffodil bulbs have been planted in the first two years of the Daffodil Garden for Cancer Survivors being opened, with 6,000 planted in late 2020 and over 13,000 in and around the garden in 2021.
When spring is over and the daffodils leave, many additional types of flowers and shrubs bring colour to the garden for most of the year.
Ivan Higgins of Concrete Creations in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, was commissioned to create the original piece of art located in the center of the garden. In his work, he reflects that cancer does not discriminate by age with three figures representing childhood, adulthood, and old age. Each is a survivor, and each is connected by cancer.
The two pathways in the garden — “Path to Recovery” and “Positive Attitude Way” — form the shape of one ribbon, representing cancer awareness. The pathways are not tinted in any colour associated with a specific type of cancer. The pathways are barrier-free for mobility access.
“Path to Recovery” (left) and “Positive Attitude Way” (right) in 2020.
The beautiful yellow daffodil benches were custom designed for the Daffodil Garden for Cancer Survivors by Outside! Landscape Architects.
Motivational messages have been etched into the backs of each bench and chair; not only do you read these words, but you are engulfed in them when you sit down. Dr. Katharina Keiser, Oncologist, was a consulting member on selecting the messages.
The daffodils etched into each seat are to pay homage to the Canadian Cancer Society. Each pair of chairs are turned towards each other to encourage conversation.