Check out this community inspired project. Curbside, upcycled bicycle gardens along the lanes of Crystal Beach, Ontario. Fab, fun and funky, these gardens are part of the village beautification campaign and hard to miss.
I love these moments. When traveling to what seems to be a simple out of the way place to find the most wonderful things. But I’ve decided places like this, unexpected or unlikely places, is typically where magic happens. And when you consider the long, cold winter that only recently gave way to summer, at least in this part of the world, the growing culture makes sense.
You may have seen Crystal Beach featured in the news just months ago. Images of frozen Lake Erie and videos of families wandering through ice caves along the shore, forming as a result of frigid temperatures, lake ice and snow. People here, along with much of the middle and eastern parts of North America, thought winter would never end. Like a good song gone bad, played repeatedly until you’re completely sick of it, it was the winter that wouldn’t quit.
Maybe these pop-up bicycle gardens are a response to winter? After being cooped up, cold and surrounded by white the urge to bloom can make the best of us burst at the seams. And it’s easy to see the satisfaction that comes from creating and cultivating a mobile garden out of an unused bike, making the old new again.
I met a few, enthusiastic residents when out capturing these images. They were happy to share and talk about their projects. Two insisted I come see their gardens and others along the way. “Oh, you have to go up to Elmwood Avenue. That’s the best one.” And then I was led to the one below, with Ken and Barbie in the basket. This was apparently created by a little girl and her grandmother. The grandmother was obviously proud, telling me how her granddaughter went through her toy box pulling out only the best of her things to adorn her bike that no longer fit. You can’t quite see the flowers, but they’re there, woven through the wheels.
Grow a garden. Pass the pistil.