"Sprout Out Loud!" // "Le Pouvoir Aux Pousses!"

"Sprout Out Loud!" // "Le Pouvoir Aux Pousses!"

Proposal/Official document
Urban vegetation
Vacant lot

The Roerich Garden is a site-specific earthwork in progress, located in one of the last undeveloped pieces of land in the Plateau-Mont-Royal. Owned by Canadian Pacific Railway, this vacant meadow is highly used and valued by the community for the natural refuge that it provides. The field and many neighboring residences and businesses will be sacrificed for municipal development, and are slated for a demolition that is said to begin in 2009-2010. Construction plans are said to extend St-Viateur further east, a part of the city's 9M$ makeover for the Maguire district in the Mile End.

Sprout Out Loud! is an on-growing gardener's ensemble, that evolves seasonally. The project seeks to support and develop the relationship of residents to the land around them. Borne from the Roerich Garden and launched in April 2008,
a community-collaborative garden project in a controversial grassy field in Montreal’s Mile End neighborhood.

the Roerich Garden, which she's developing in the middle of a former railway yard belonging to Canadian Pacific. She's even got a name for her collective of volunteers, recruited through friends and online. She calls it Sprout Out Loud!

"The project seeks to support and develop the relationship of Montreal residents to the land around them through collective activities that help make parts of the city more alive and vibrant," she writes on her blog (www.pousses.blogspot.com). She's also planning plant and seed exchanges and "plant rescues."

So far, the 312-square-foot garden doesn't look like much. Last fall, to get rid of the grass and weeds, she and a group of fellow gardeners laid down layers of cardboard, compost, leaves and hay in the pattern of a giant circle with three large dots in the centre. It's the Roerich symbol, the motif recognized internationally in 1935 to mark museums, schools and cultural landmarks, to prevent their destruction during aerial bombardments.

Soon Michaud will fill the design in with red clover and bee balm seedlings. By next summer it should be ablaze with red blooms. She's also planted donated hostas, lamb's ears, comfrey, sunflowers, yarrow, sage, oregano and two kinds of ornamental grasses along a chain-link fence bordering the site.

Comme plusieurs artistes associés à la galerie Dare-Dare, spécialisée dans les interventions in situ, Emily Rose Michaud inclut des plantes dans ses oeuvres. Elle se dit inspirée par David Tracey et le poète et biorégionaliste Gary Snyder. Dans le cadre de son installation d'art public Le Pouvoir aux pousses!, elle faisait livrer en novembre dernier, à ses frais, cinq tonnes de terre sur un terrain vacant du quartier Rosemont, près du couvent des Carmélites. Utilisant les techniques de la permaculture et du compostage carton feuilles, elle compte y semer bientôt une plante à déterminer, possiblement des monardes écarlates, et espère bien ainsi attirer des oiseaux-mouches. Emily Rose Michaud veut susciter un échange de connaissances sur les plantes, permettre aux résidants de mieux se connaître ainsi que le milieu où ils vivent.


emily rose michaud, christine prefontaine, kim mok, charles lamarre, franc-sois dandurand, various community members.

Location: Canadian Pacific Railway owned lot, near the intersection of St-Viateur and De Gaspe in the Plateau Mont-Royal borough of Montreal, Qc. Canada. November 23, 2007- present.