What’s Growing in the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens: Music from the Acadian Forest!
By Adrien Greene
While working in the gardens we are constantly reminded of our incredible dependence upon plants. Not only do plants provide oxygen, food, shelter and medicine for us, they provide the material needed to build beautiful musical instruments! Around the world, humans have used seed pods, reeds, branches, stems, bark, gourds and beyond to develop an amazing variety of instruments.
Within the Acadian Forest Region, in the small town of LaPatrie, Québec, the luthiers of Seagull Guitars craft exquisite guitars, mandolins and merlins. All of their instruments are built out of 100% Canadian-sourced material and manufactured in LaPatrie, something to be proud of! Different types of wood resonate uniquely and often a combination of materials are used to create custom sounds specific to different styles of playing. For example, spruce is used commonly for the top of a guitar, being a softwood and subsequently very resonant. Hardwood such as maple can be used for the instrument’s neck, providing the strength and durability for many years of happy playing.
The next time you find yourself strumming away or appreciating the incredible talent of our local musicians, be sure to give thanks to the trees and other plants that have helped create the wonderful music we are lucky to surround ourselves with!
Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens