Aids Awareness Garden
In Memory of Ken
by Carla Allen
She's a softspoken individual, someone you
really wouldn't have expected to have tackled the issue she's so
passionate about. But then Brenda Moulaison of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia,
has personal experience with the disease she's so dedicated to
educating others about. You see, Brenda's brother died from Aids two
summers ago at the age of 38. Near the end of Ken's horrific battle
with the virus, Brenda struggled with thoughts on how she could best
show Ken how much she loved him....some kind of lasting monument. One
morning she had a vision of herself standing in a beautiful garden, in
the form and shape of how it exists today. This was to become the Aids
Awareness Garden, a plot of land that would remind others of the
disease and inadvertently come to act as a form of therapy for Brenda.
In late 1996 arrangements were finalized with the town of Yarmouth
for the loan of a proposed site in Milton on the corner of Gardner and
Main and they donated $250 towards the project. Brenda busied herself
with canvassing local businesses for more funds. Walter Babin created
the base of the garden for her that same fall and by the following
spring she had finally raised enough money to plant the garden for the
first time. Red geraniums bordered by white alyssum formed a ribbon in
the center, with blue lobelia and white alyssum surrounding this
planted in the shape of a large heart. The ribbon symbolizes the
cause. The heart represents the lives being lost to this disease.
Brenda rushed to have the garden completed by June 21, 1997 - Ken's
birthday. His health was failing fast. The virus had taken its toll
and his frail legs could no longer support his meagre weight. Wrapped
in a blanket, he sat in a wheelchair for the event surrounded by
family, friends and strangers who wanted to join in this special
Ken died two months later but the garden lives on thanks to Brenda's
dedication and the support of others. Last year Brenda used donated
funds to have a fence built behind the garden. It compliments the
garden beautifully. She used red salvia bordered by white gravel for
the ribbon and white alyssum to form the heart to obtain the effect
she wanted that year.
This spring she used half a dozen flats of red and white wax begonias
for the garden, hoping for a lower overall effect. These were planted
approximately eight inches apart for a desirable carpet bed
appearance. Landscape fabric was laid over areas not planted, then
covered over with gravel to reduce the amount of weeding required.
"If my project can make just one child, just one other person,
realize the importance behind this whole creation then I feel my
efforts in trying to get the message out there to make the right
choices, has accomplished something good out of something so bad."
Brenda wrote me in a letter describing the experience of losing her
brother to Aids.
She also shared a poem with me--two lines of which speak most
eloquently about the strength of this young woman. "I have so
much to say, I don't know where to start. So I guess I'll speak right
from my heart."
Next time you are passing by the Aids Awareness Garden visit its
beauty up close. Remember why it was created and read the poem `Be
Aware' which Brenda has mounted beside it.
On Sunday, September 26, 1999 at 1 pm there was an Aids Awareness
Walk organized by Brenda.
Awareness Garden is a copyrighted article by the author, Carla Allen, who
has kindly given Garden Forever permission to publish it on our website.
The use of any part of this publication reproduced, transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or
otherwise, or stored in a retrieval system, without the prior written
consent of Carla Allen is strictly forbidden.