The gardening trend continues this year – Red Deer Advocate

The Canadian Landscape Nurseries Association was formed in 1922 to support and promote the landscape industry in Canada. To celebrate its 100th anniversary, the Canadian Garden Council (CCG) has declared 2022 the Year of the Garden with the slogan “Live the Garden Life”.

The Canadian Garden Council asks anyone involved or connected with the horticultural trade or not, to get involved in the garden year and promote the benefits or gardening. Horticulture is deeply rooted in the Canadian community, including; businesses, garden clubs, schools, community gardens, municipalities and individuals. Currently, the CGA requires municipalities to sign statements supporting the Year of the Garden. Individuals and organizations to register their garden as a party garden opening it to the public. Gardeners are encouraged to use red in the garden to help unify gardens across Canada. The plan is for everyone to contribute a little to a bigger celebration and live the gardening life.

Garden Days will run from June 11-19, with the 18th being National Gardening Day. Expect an unveiling of the rest of the plan on the first day of spring, March 20.

Gardening, the cultivation of plants, has been practiced for centuries in Canada. The first written mention of gardens in North America is found in the journals kept by Jacques Cartier as he traveled up the St. Lawrence River in the 1600s. He wrote of the lands planted with corn, beans and squash that were called the Three Sisters.

The corn provides support for the beans and the occasional climbing squash plant. Most squash plants cover the ground and keep moisture and weeds at bay. Beans, a legume that captures nitrogen from the air adding it to the soil which in turn nourishes squash and corn.

Fur traders planted gardens at the forts. Many forts, such as Rocky Mountain House, were unmanned during the summer months, and the men would return to harvest the meager garden in the fall.

Settlers brought seeds and planted gardens. Many relied on the garden for much of their food. A good garden kept them from starving.

The railroads set up gardens and demonstration farms along the tracks to encourage settlers to settle on the prairies.

The government funded agricultural and horticultural research stations across Canada beginning in the early 20th century. Staff developed grassland-resistant fruit and ornamental plants. Many varieties are still on sale, for example the Explorer Rose series.

Private nurseries have spent years developing their own varieties and continue to do so.

There has always been a hard core of gardeners in Canada, but their numbers have increased significantly in 2020 with the pandemic. People were forced to stay at home and started buying tropical plants. They spent time feeding them and found it improved their environment and their well-being.

Spring saw people who had rarely or never gardened start growing plants in the ground, on raised beds or in pots. The number of people registering for community garden plots has tripled.

People were working in their yard to make it a more pleasant living space.

The gardening trend continues. This may be due to concern about food safety, global warming, or simply the pleasure of interacting with nature through gardening.

Take part in the Year of the Garden by encouraging your municipality to sign the declaration, visit parks, public gardens or open days in private gardens. Plant trees, flowers, shrubs and/or vegetables. Join garden clubs or community gardens.

Trade plants with friends and neighbors. Eat locally grown foods purchased from markets or directly from the producer. “Live the Garden Life” https://livethegardenlife.gardenscanada.ca/

Linda Tomlinson has been gardening in central Alberta for over 30 years. She can be contacted at [email protected]

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