Public Artwork

Lulu, A Memory Garden

Jacqueline Metz & Nancy Chew, Lulu, A Memory Garden, 2009.
Jacqueline Metz & Nancy Chew, Lulu, A Memory Garden, 2009.
Jacqueline Metz & Nancy Chew, Lulu, A Memory Garden, 2009.
Paulik Gardens Neighbourhood Park, 7620 Heather street, Richmond, BC, Canada
Artwork creator(s): 
Metz, Jacqueline; Chew, Nancy
Text author(s): 
Palmer Secondary Poetry Club; Paulik Family; Ohler Family
Installation year: 

The art project consists of two parts: large pavers cut from pillars featuring text and placed at various locations throughout the park; a centre piece of large etched black stone paver slabs placed in a radial pattern incorporating the drawings of horticultural images.

Text of the artwork: 


What can you see from your poplar tree,
looking back through the wind and wheat?
A Fraser River ebbing high, whose
banks yearn for your feet?

Where is it you are looking,
from your branches up above
the fish ponds that your Father built
and the sleeping Holland bulbs?

Are you looking to the sunny East,
where you first began your climb -
the East where you are still a child
with pockets filled with time?

Are you looking to the Southern warmth,
where trees are always in bloom -
the South that fills your lungs with love
as your children keep the child within you?

Are you looking to the dusky West,
where the day seeps toward the sea -
the West where life reminds us
of what all we’ve witnessed means?

Away on in the treetops,
keep your compass poplar green.
But as you search for where you’re going
hold close the places you have been.


Spending all these hours
Alone by pretty flowers
Beside these towers

Through the field of grass
Buildings grow by the mass
Nature falls fast

Sweet scent in the air
Flowing vividly the hair
Perfect math, the stare

Trading on the soil
Untainted by war’s recoil
To rich and royal

Enjoying cool pond
Together, forever bond
Destiny not wronged


let’s walk hand in hand
and leave reality
in the shadow

With these hands
I mended a broken heart
and grew it into
a garden

A symphony of flowers
singing a new tune
with each step upon the staff

My heart fell
but the wind brought it back
and with it came
a new fragrance


Step in,
indulge yourself
and become
the creator
of your own story

I can fly,
dance . . .
I am free

Words cannot explain
the beauty of this sight
and the smell of this new beginning

and yet again
I am in love
with the sight
and smell
of the flowers


Someone has painted
this picture
with a spade and all the
colours of the natural earth

Island plantings,
green grass tides lap
at the edges
of blue flower reefs

In the seed I truly live
and with open hands I give


Between these trees, the
ferns grow,
along this path, I go

A hundred shades of green
are enough
but still,
the glorious afterthought of flowers

The trees tick to the
flowers tock:
from fade to beauty,
this giant clock.

These evergreen buttresses,
these cloistered ferns,
these windows of stained life,
are built for you.

The crow calls the gardener
to his bed,
but leaves him tired,
aching, fed.

Gardener, have you left space
for the next plant,
the one I can’t yet imagine
that will make this place

Oh crow! What does
the tree give you in return
for all that good advice?

I the flower, you the eye.
I am rooted, you pass by.
Come the winter, we will part,
But in the Spring,
O, let us start!


The bird calls to the branch
and so
then next, to my heart
the bright notes go.

Beneath your feet
this garden’s genius lies:
Roots touching in the dark,
seeds most sly.

A cloud dances past
the sun, and for a moment
this can all be seen.


bountiful flowers
dutiful trees
Awe struck by
the beauty.

Text theme: 
History, Memory, Poetry, Cultural History
Artwork theme: 

The park’s past and people’s experience of gardens


Paulik Gardens Neighbourhood Park was formerly the home of two families and contained the large ornamental gardens, woodlot, blueberry farm and bog of the Paulik family, and the Lulu Island Water Gardens of the Ohler family. Today, traces of the water gardens can still be seen, and the former Paulik property is a lush, expansive garden.


Fragments of personal stories are overlaid everywhere in the park - phrases taken from interviews with the remaining familiy members who owned the land and from poems by the members of the Palmer Secondary School's poetry club.