Richard and Mary Simpson. Photo courtesy Langley Centennial Museum

Garden bee helps restore heritage perennials at CN Station

Volunteer weed-pullers needed for April 23 event

Fort Langley’s historic CN Station is gearing up for a new season, which includes weeding and preparing its heritage gardens.

Volunteer weed-pullers are invited to dig in on Monday, April 23, beginning at 10 a.m.

CN Station Manager Helen Williams notes gardens were a significant part of life at the station where Richard Simpson was station agent through the 1920s. He and his wife Mary grew 37 varieties of perennials.

“Monday’s garden bee will not restore Mrs. Simpson’s garden to its original glory, but it will keep her vision alive and remind us of the significance of station agents and their role in communities when rail was the main form of transportation and communication,” she said.

READ MORE: Wanted: volunteers for CN station in historic Fort Langley

Gardening competitions between station agents were an annual event up and down the CN line. The railroad even had a network of greenhouses to grow plants for the agents.

The 1915 station was restored by the Langley Heritage Society 35 years ago, and today volunteers act as ambassadors at the station house, caboose with model railway and passenger car.

“I’m grateful to all the volunteers giving their time to pull weeds and get their hands dirty,” Williams said. “They too see the value in preserving not only our heritage through structures, but also in the landscapes that once sculpted the community of a time long gone.”

The station opens to the public beginning on the Victoria Day weekend.

For more information, contact Williams at volunteer@langleyheritage.ca.


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