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The 2011 Prairie Garden:
Healthy Gardening

Table of Contents

  • Creating a Beautiful and Beneficial Garden by Sarah Coulber
  • Compost – Great for Your Plants and the Environment!  by Kate Bergen
  • Healing Aspects of our Gardens by Lynn M. Collicutt
  • Two Healing Plants by Susanne Olver
  • It’s OK to be a Lazy Gardener by Carla Zelmer
  • Autumn—Endings and Beginnings by Jeannette Adams
  • Healthy Trees, Gardens and People by Michael Allen
  • More Than Just Another Pretty Garden by Darlene McPherson
  • The Abilities Garden by K.A. Beattie
  • Kitchen Gardens, Past and Present by Linda Dietrick
  • Permaculture: Back to Nature – Back to Basics by William Dowie
  • Wet Ground by Paul Henteleff
  • The Organic Lawn by Ken Land
  • 10 Tips for a Healthy Lawn…from Canada’s Doctors  by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
  • Organic Solutions to Garden Problems by Hugh Skinner
  • The Real Dirt on Organic Growing by Lori Ann Regnier
  • Organic Gardening – A viable alternative or simply ‘Yuppie Chow’? by Allan J. Murphy
  • Corn Gluten Meal by Sara Williams
  • Food Matters by Izzy Goluch
  • Ten Tips for Canning by Patti Eilers
  • Willow Creek Community Garden by Denise Sarauer
  • Growing a Healthy Community at the Yara Community Gardens  by Sarah Varey
  • Crop Rotation Reduces Problems by Sara Williams
  • How to Enjoy Gardening When you have Outdoor Allergies  by Melanie Mathieson
  • The Whys and Wherefores of Green Manure by Sheryl Normandeau
  • Rocks! by Susanne Olver
  • A Healthy Garden Includes Insects by Ian Wise
  • Garlic Allium sativum – a Plant Through the Ages by Peter Dyck
  • Rain, Rain, Go Away. Come Again Another Day... by Jan Winnik
  • Nurturing an Inter-generational Community at  Assiniboine Park Conservatory by Karen Lind
  • Tuberous Begonias by Susanne Olver
  • From Seed to Table a Practical Guide to Eating and  Growing Green Review by Jean I. Pomo
  • Healthy Birds by Sherrie Versluis
  • Heuchera by Barbara-Jean Jackson
  • A. P. Stevenson Commemorative Award Presented to Prof. Louis Lenz by Linda Pearn and Hugh Skinner
  • Master Gardener Program for Manitoba by Mary Petersen
  • The Firecracker Collection of Chrysanthemums by Philip Ronald & Rick Durand
  • Rooftop Gardening by George Shirtliffe
  • Late Blight - a Gardener’s Potential Nightmare and a Persistent Commercial Concern by Andy Tekauz
  • Prairie Gardening Memories by Val Werier
  • With Fronds Like These… by Sara Williams
  • Perennial Releases from Morden Research Station by John den Heyer
  • New Tool Now Available for Native Orchid Conservation by Doris Ames
  • Trial & Error(s) by Dan Furlan
  • Identifying and Managing Cutworms by Dr. John Gavloski
  • Pruning Shrubs by Brad Gurr
  • Small Pear and Cherry/Plum Tree Cultivars in Northern Plains Landscapes by Dr. Dale E. Herman
  • Daylilies – A Brief History  by Barb Laschkewitsch and Bryce Farnsworth
  • The Weird And Clever World Of Carnivorous Plants  by Joyce Graham Fogwill  
  • Gardening on the Eve of Climate Change by Carla Keast
  • Rosemates by Claire Bérubé
  • Orchids - Not Just for Eccentric Millionaires by Yvonne Dean
  • Gardeners Beware: Invasive Species to Avoid Planting  by Sandi Faber Routley and Cheryl Hemming
  • The Water Garden that Almost Wasn’t by Tena Kilmury
  • A Brief History of the Saskatchewan Rose Society  by Arnold F. Pittao
  • Boreal Gardens, Churchill, MB by Diane and Bill Erickson
  • The Rewards of Native Plants by Lucille Verrier
  • 50 Years Ago – My Garden Companions are my Timing Guides by Mary Mclaughlin
  • Award for Excellence by Linda Pearn

The 2011 Prairie Garden:

Healthy Gardening

“Gardens, scholars say, are the first sign of commitment to a community. When people plant corn they are saying, let’s stay here. And by their connection to the land, they are connected to one another.” - Anne Raver

An Editorial Note Richard Denesiuk
by Richard Denesiuk, editor

Why do we garden? There are so many reasons, but one that strikes a common chord among gardeners is that it makes us feel healthy, connected to nature and a vibrant part of our environment. Not only is gardening good for our physical health, but also for our mental health. How vital our garden becomes, and how impacted it is by our efforts – is based on the knowledge of gardening practices we have acquired.

My first memories of gardening are as a child, ‘grazing’ on some delicious vegetable, and being fascinated with the symphony of bugs, birds and plants. That alliance of flora and fauna has forever imprinted on me the fascination I have for all gardens – both natural and constructed.

Classic GardenThis year’s theme Healthy Gardening was chosen by The Prairie Garden committee in an effort to focus our attention on the basics of gardening – tried and true practises and their healthful implications. Throughout this edition you will find short articles by committee members who share their personal views on what constitutes a healthy garden and the basic elements that might go into creating one. The first two, by co-chairs Colleen Zacharias and Ed Czarnecki, appear on this page.

This is a special 200 page edition with a wealth of articles – we just had to go for more pages than normal to get them all in! Thanks to all our contributors who have given us the great articles you are about to read. They are diverse, thought provoking and some may be controversial. I know you will enjoy this edition! 

Best-Laid PlansColleen Zacharias
by Colleen Zacharias, co-chair of The Prairie Garden committee

Many new homeowners will decide at some point that they would like to add a ‘garden’ or a landscaped area to enhance their property. Depending on their level of experience, they will either tackle the project themselves, enlist the assistance of a more experienced friend or family member, or hire a professional.

Once the plan for the new bed goes from drawing paper to reality, there is always an initial sense of satisfaction and pride. But that should only represent the beginning of the project, not the end result. The best laid plans will never reach their full potential without the commitment to maintain and nurture – otherwise, the garden will only fall into neglect over time and bear little resemblance to the bright promise it once offered. Understanding the efforts, from spring through fall, that go into maintaining a garden, is the first step to creating a healthy garden.

A Healthy GardenGardening is a bit like parenting – the right amount of care and nutrition is required in order to give a living thing the essentials it needs to thrive and survive in a harsh world.

A ‘healthy’ garden is easily identified: the observer is able to readily see that the plants are well tended by looking at their upright, sturdy stems, unblemished foliage or attractive, open blooms. Regardless of the size of the garden plot, plants will have been given room to breathe. The soil will be largely weed-free with the moisture levels matched to the needs of the plants. Other factors such as the proper amount of sunlight or shade will be taken into consideration. There is genuine joy, too, in helping to overcome the challenges that our plants face from time to time.

A sensible, consistent approach to maintaining a garden is far more rewarding than the ultimate embarrassment that a neglected plot becomes. It takes a bit of labour and practical know-how, but the ‘end’ results are always rewarding.

Location, Location, LocationEd Czarnecki
by Ed Czarnecki, co-chair of The Prairie Garden committee

A fundamental criterion in any type of gardening is the location, which would reflect the amount of sunlight, the soil type (pH, organic matter and texture) and the type of drainage available.

As an example, a shady area would be more suitable for plant types such as impatiens, begonia or hosta, while a flat-surfaced heavy clay soil would require adequate drainage and soil preparation before attempting to grow flowers or vegetables.

Succlents and RocksGardeners in the outer treed areas of Winnipeg and other urban places also need to somehow protect their plots from deer, rabbits, ground hogs and other ‘critters’ who seem to have a more varied palate. Gardening can be as challenging or as relaxing as you would like and each year brings on the anticipation of something new to discover and enjoy.

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