The Best Guardian Angels: Gardens That Attract Families

The best guardian angels: gardens that attract families


Olivier Talleux

  • Recipient attendant
  • Works at CHSLD Armand-Lavergne for 10 years

A beneficiary attendant turned into a gardener and digged up the earth with the sweat of his brow to beautify the courtyard of a CHSLD by building vegetable and flower gardens. A unifying project that attracts families to visit their loved ones.

“I don't want to brag, but I'm proud of what I've done,” says Olivier Talleux.  

“And we haven't been idle. I never stopped for a second! he swears. 

From concrete to flowers 

Passionate about gardening, this beneficiary attendant had the idea to build a vegetable garden at the Armand-Lavergne Long-Term Care Center (CHSLD) in Montreal, where he has worked for 10 years. 

Located in the Mont-Royal district, the CHSLD has an astonishingly large backyard.

However, it had never been landscaped, and was very concrete. 

Four years ago, Mr. Talleux planted vegetables and herbs in containers. 

Tomatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, lettuces, raspberries, blackberries: all kinds of fruits and vegetables garnish today hui the different gardens. 

Throughout the harvest season, residents, their families and employees are invited to help themselves. 

“It’s open! It's made for that, says the Frenchman, who has lived in Quebec for 20 years. Last year, we had so many zucchini that the cook made muffins. » 

Some residents even participate in the maintenance of the vegetable garden, depending on their interests and abilities.

« Sometimes it's just five minutes, enough time to dig a weed,” says Mr. Talleux.  

Empty a garden

Last year, the closure of the community garden located behind the CHSLD gave rise to an imposing expansion project. 

“We had the goal of emptying the community garden to reflower the space here explains with passion Christine Gauthier, a maintenance employee at the CHSLD, who helped Mr. Talleux a lot. 

Christine Gauthier

Supported by management, the duo cleared several areas of the yard to dig flowerbeds. 

An ambitious and physically demanding project, since pieces of concrete and rock mixed with the earth. 

“I never thought I would get there,” admits Mr. Talleux. Christine ended up with injured knees, and me with two arm tendinitis! […] We did it by hand, with a wheelbarrow. We worked really hard. »  

Hibiscus, echinacea, lupins: all kinds of flowers now adorn the gardens, much to the delight of residents and employees. 

More visits 

“It brought more families to come and see the gardens, to spend more time with their loved ones. Everyone comes to see,” says Ms. Gauthier, proud of their accomplishment. 

The gardening duo has plans to expand into other sections of the yard.

In addition, the duo still have expansion projects in other areas of the courtyard that have not yet been developed. The only enemies of the project: the squirrels. 

“We have a fight to finish, laments Mr. Talleux. They break everything and eat everything! » 

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