By Laverne Dahlin, Master Gardener
What is there not to love about dahlias. They are easy to grow, and provide great satisfaction with their eye-catching flower sizes, various shapes, and many colors (except true blue – a color that hybridizers are currently working on). They attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and are even deer resistant. Dahlias are a beautiful statement garden plant that will bloom mid-summer until the first frost and are exceptional cut flowers for arrangements. There are many species and cultivars so there is something for everyone.
By Virginia Stephenson, Master Gardener
Many people who enjoy gardening also enjoy watching birds that come to visit their gardens. These people range from committed birdwatchers with life lists of sightings to people who can only recognize a few birds, but enjoy seeing and hearing them.
I have gardened for 45 years and have fed birds for most of that time. Just as my early gardening was of the uninformed plant and pray variety, my early bird watching was of the uninformed variety in which I saw the birds, but never really looked at them.
By: Jane Zoutman, Master Gardener
Ponds are work to build, need to be maintained and cost money, so why would you want to build one?
A pond attracts wildlife. Depending upon where you live this can be insects like bees and dragonflies, frogs, birds, turtles, garter snakes, ducks, geese, and more. The sound of a waterfall is soothing and helps neutralize the sound of traffic. A pond really only needs cleaning annually at most plus cleaning up the pump once or twice a summer. Costs for starting a pond include the liner, the pond pump, hoses, hired help (if needed) and landscaping. My liner and pump are over 20 years old and still working fine. There are some minor costs annually and I do replace the pump hoses every three or four years.
Interview with Susan Brown, Saint Mary Anglican Church
By Janet Epp Master Gardener
Having responded last year to a request to the MMGA for Master Gardener help with a community gardening project at Saint Mary Anglican Church in Charleswood, led by church volunteer Susan Brown, I soon became intrigued by the scope of this impressive project. Susan had won acceptance of her idea from the church and the community and had found funding for the development of, first, a fenced raised-bed garden and then in 2022 the creation of a fruit-forest on church property. How had she achieved this impressive success? I decided to interview her in case some MMGA members are thinking of starting a community gardening project from scratch and would appreciate Susan’s tips.
The Gardener and the Law: changes to Manitoba legislation purchasing and using cosmetic pesticides on lawns.
By: Gosia Barrette, Master Gardener
Recently, the Manitoba government made changes to relevant legislation allowing for the expansion of the application and purchasing of cosmetic pesticides for homeowners and commercial use on lawns. Introduced in the House as Bill 22, The Environment Amendment Act (Pesticide Restrictions), reversed the 2015 amendments that saw a restriction of sale and use of cosmetic pesticides for lawn care.
By: Linda Dietrick, Master Gardener
You have probably heard of kudzu and purple loosestrife, two invasive plants that were originally introduced to North America with the best of intentions. Brought into new environments where there were no natural checks on their spread, they became bullies, outcompeting the regionally native plants, with consequences for whole ecosystems. We now realize that these and many other invasive plants can do serious harm to local economies, human health, and the environment. Kudzu, planted in the US as a soil stabilizer in the 1930s, has reached Ontario. Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), introduced in the 1800s and until recently sold as a hardy ornamental, now infests waterways throughout North America. As these examples show, it can take decades for people to notice invasive species and control them before they become a serious problem. Surely we can do better by paying closer attention.
By Debbie Innes, Master Gardener
Oh, the beauty and reliability of native plants! I have grown to appreciate native plants for their variety, hardiness, and reliability, as well as for their value to our birds, bees and butterflies, in my home landscape as well as Albrin Bay Park. Albrin Bay Park, a project of mine since 1998, now contains 70 native perennial plant species and some cool native shrubs as well, with more going in this summer. But the main focus of this article will be on beautiful and easy to grow natives for your yard.
Our Members presenting at the Living Green Event
Lori Graham: Composting
Friday, April 7 – 6:00pm
Florence Carey: Growing a Tea Garden
Saturday, April 8 – 4:00pm
Debbie Innes: Seed Starting
Sunday, April 9 – 1:00pm
Virginia Stephenson: My Gardening is for the Birds
Sunday, April 9 – 4:00pm