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Front Porch

Sallie’s Garden: Growing a Gathering Space

Sallie Brun has a deep, long-standing connection with Canterbury Woods and the area surrounding the Pacific Grove community. She grew up in the Salinas Valley on her family’s farm and her parents, Henry and Muriel Brun, joined the Canterbury Woods community in 1986. Her childhood on the farm instilled in Sallie a deep connection to the earth. “I have my hands in the dirt and a dog by my side most of the time. It’s my favorite thing to do.”

When she moved to Canterbury Woods in 2011, working in the gardens and contributing to the Foundation’s landscaping fund for the community were her ways to pay it forward. “I have this community in my heart,” she said. “It’s so meaningful to me to be able to provide support for Canterbury Woods through my time and gifts.”

Sallie’s contributions to the landscaping fund, including qualified charitable distributions from her IRA, made possible a recent rejuvenation of the Canterbury Woods’ garden. Originally installed when the community was built in 1965, the garden has been updated with multicolored plants, camellias, and a Japanese Black Pine tree to complement the nearby koi pond.

“We’re making it a modern garden,” Sallie noted. The project updates the heart of the garden and creates a space for residents to gather. “Our hope is that it will be a space for resident meetings, barbeques, and bingo games among other activities,” she said. Residents have already hosted a happy hour in the updated space and have plans to host barbeques.

When it came time to christen the new garden, residents voted unanimously to rename the space “Sallie’s Garden,” in honor of all of Sallie’s contributions to the garden and the wider Canterbury Woods community.

*This story was originally shared in the Community Matters newsletter