By Shelley Walker, Events and Fundraising Director
Every July Master Gardeners and the public alike look forward to the Manitoba Master Gardener Association Tour. This year, due to Covid-19, the tour had to be cancelled.
A big thank you goes out to all the gardeners who volunteered their gardens for the tour. They had certainly made plans well ahead of time to ensure their gardens would look the best at the time of the tour. Almost all were able to confirm their gardens for next year’s tour and sent us photos to create anticipation.
Perennials for Northern Gardens is a discussion about the wide variety of perennials that have adapted to Manitoba gardens. Illustrated by over 200 photographs, Hugh Skinner will talk about the historic development of perennial flower gardening and reasons for using perennials. He will also talk about the design of perennial gardens, procuring perennials and methods of propagating perennials from seed and by vegetative means.
Our guest presenter, Hugh Skinner, caught the gardening bug early. He spent his summers as a child working and playing in his father’s nursery. He studied horticulture at the University of Manitoba and graduated with a B. S. A. (Hort.) in 1972. Since that time he has been involved in the nursery business, growing a wide variety of trees, shrubs, perennial flowers and bulbs. Currently, he is specializing in lily bulbs, with an emphasis on martagons.
Hugh began speaking and advising groups and individuals soon after his graduation from university. As well, he has developed and delivered a number of courses for Assiniboine Community College. In the past 6 years he has judged for Communities in Bloom in Manitoba. In 2002 he was presented with the Prairie Garden Award of Excellence for his work to preserve the Skinner horticultural legacy. He is currently president of the Manitoba Horticultural Association.
His most recent project is a book on “perennial flowers for northern gardens” with Sara Williams. They are currently seeking a publisher. Hugh and Sara believe that gardeners need accurate information to help them in designing garden projects and in choosing plants that are suited to our climate. Previous books include Gardening, Naturally, A chemical free handbook for the Prairies (co-authored with Sara Williams) published by Coteau Books in spring 2011, Best Trees and Shrubs for the Prairies and Best Groundcovers and Vines for the Prairies, also co-authored with Sara Williams.
The David Suzuki Foundation(DSF), Senior Strategist, Jode Roberts, will host. Presenters are: Manitoba Master Gardener, Susan Leblanc and Kelly Leask, owner of Prairie Originals, a native nursery garden centre in Selkirk, MB. The theme is getting your garden ready for winter. Although this webinar is intended for Butterflyway Rangers in Winnipeg, the theme is relevant to many prairie gardeners. MMG with native gardens might find this webinar especially helpful. Kelly is an expert on native plants. The webinar is open to everyone. Anyone can register for the webinar.For your information, we have 10 Manitoba Master Gardeners’ gardens listed on the David Suzuki Butterflyway (pollinator highway) map for the Winnipeg (area).