Ottawa Business Journal - Ottawa at Home - - LIVING MY WAY -

As this is­sue of Ottawa At Home mag­a­zine hits the stands, spring has of­fi­cially ar­rived, even if we’ve only re­cently said good­bye to a lit­tle patch of snow­drops in our gar­dens. A true harbinger of spring, a Toronto gar­den blog­ger re­cently wrote that snow­drops re­ally are “a psy­cho­log­i­cal ne­ces­sity in Canada.” She even went so far as to sug­gest the gov­ern­ment start is­su­ing bucket loads of snow­drops to its cit­i­zens ev­ery fall.

For­tu­nately, the ap­pear­ance of flow­er­ing for­sythia shrubs not only an­nounces the ar­rival of spring – they pos­i­tively scream it out with their daz­zling dis­play of yel­low blooms. They are known to cause a gar­dener’s heart to beat a lit­tle faster; green thumbs be­gin to twitch. Some­thing is bloom­ing. Some­thing is full of life.

While colour­ful spring flow­ers are enough to make most of us for­get win­ter ever hap­pened, the gar­den­ing bug is so firmly en­trenched in Vera Cody and Hi­lary Kem­s­leythat even the win­ter months can’t com­pletely bring them down.

It’s gen­er­ally be­lieved that flow­ers con­trib­ute to feel­ings of well-be­ing – it’s why we send flow­ers to peo­ple who are sick. But Vera Cody has taken that phi­los­o­phy to the next level. To say that she sur­rounds her­self with flow­ers is an un­der­state­ment. There is no sur­face in her home that doesn’t have a flo­ral theme. Whether up­hol­stery, art, dé­cor, dishes, bedding, or pot­ted bloom­ing bulbs, the flow­ers are ev­ery­where. “I sit here and try to be glum – and I can’t be!” says an ex­u­ber­ant Vera.

Not even talk of her “lost” gar­den, the pride and joy of Vera’s life, can dampen her in­fec­tious en­ergy. Af­ter mov­ing to her New Ed­in­burgh condo last fall, she re­mains res­o­lute in her hap­pi­ness de­spite giv­ing up her stun­ning Rock­cliffe Park gar­den. “It just means I have a new chal­lenge with con­tainer

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