Creativity in Education Garden

Picture of garden with purple coneflowers in foreground
Creativity in Education Garden

This garden symbolizes the importance of creativity and the arts at OISE and in 21st century learning.  Its colourful flowers and unusual plant shapes demonstrate the power of the arts to integrate all of the senses by creating engaging environments that reflect, provoke, and inspire. Filled with indigenous plant species known for attracting butterflies and bees, this garden acts as a metaphor for the cross-pollination of ideas and practices that are an integral part of OISE's approach to research, teaching, and learning.  Plants spilling down the sides encourage those who pass by to emulate what the arts do best: think outside the box.

long purple petals

Purple & Pale Purple Coneflower - Echinacea pallida

Echinacea is a plant that is native to North America and has many uses. Medicinally, it has been used extensively in the treatment of colds and infections as it is thought to stimulate the immune system and decrease inflammation. Drought tolerant,  it is also a great pollinator. It blooms through the whole summer, with its flowers transforming from pale pink to a deeper purple. In this garden it is a visual symbol of creativity through tis beautiful bright flowers.

Milkweed plant with long broad leaves

Milkweed - cabo' sîkûn/înîni'wûnj - Asclepias syriaca

Milkweed has light pink flowers and contains a bitter white sap that protects it from predators. The sap also is essential nectar for many butterfly species, including monarchs.  It has been included here to symbolize the role the arts and creativity plays in the pollination of ideas across discipline

Red wood with oval green leaves

Red Osier Dogwood Mskwaabiimnagoons - Cornus sericea

The red osier dogwood has many traditional uses; Indigenous peoples have used it in many creative ways:  its twigs and branches in basket weaving and tool making, its berries in medicines and food, and in combination with grasses to make ceremonial tobacco.  It is a medium sized shrub with striking white berries and blooms and red bark.

purple styles comprising flower

Wild Bergamot - weca' wûs wackwî' nek - Monarda fistulosa

Wild bergamot or bee balm is a fragrant native plant to Ontario that has clusters of soft pink or purple flowers. It has long been used by Indigenous peoples of North America as a medicine and antiseptic to treat colds (brewed as tea) and infections and wounds (ground into a poultice). Tea made from wild bergamot has also been used as a stimulant. In the Creativity Garden, this plant represents expression through all our senses (smell, taste, visual, etc).

Sunchoke, long oval green leaves

Sunchoke - Helianthus tuberosus

Also known as sunroot or Jerusalem artichoke, this species of sunflower is actually a member of the daisy family.  Like creativity, it is easy to cultivate, and its tuber is often used as a root vegetable or as a substitute for potatoes in cooking.  Beautiful to the eyes, delicious to eat, an edible, visual treat!

Flowering chives: purple ponpons on long stems

Wild Chives - Allium schoenoprasum

One of the first plants to appear in the Spring, Wild Chives can be distinguished by their oniony aroma and pom-pom shaped pink-purple flowers. Wild Chives are an edible plant that have been used for centuries as a way to spice up food, just as creativity spices up learning experiences.

virgins bower, jagged edge tri-leaf plant

Virgin's Bower - Clematis virginiana

Virgin's Bower is a woody perennial vine that has large, showy trumpet shaped flowers of orange to red. The brightly coloured flowers attract many birds, including hummingbirds, and other pollinators. Its tendrils reach out and extend broadly from the plant.  It has been included in this garden to symbolize 'thinking outside the box' as it will spill outside of this garden as it grows.

crown shaped red flower

Wild Columbine Ininiwizh - Aquilegia canadensis

Columbine is a low maintenance wildflower native to Ontario. Its brightly coloured early spring flowers attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. In the Creativity Garden it represents the way creative people pollinate ideas in the world, bringing and sustaining many forms of life.

Garden Map

Creativity garden map