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Gardens across The Maples will soon be in full bloom

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Lorna Carandang’s garden in The Maples last summer. Lorna was the Winnipeg in Bloom second place winner in 2012.

PHOTO BY DEREK DABEE Enlarge Image

Lorna Carandang’s garden in The Maples last summer. Lorna was the Winnipeg in Bloom second place winner in 2012. Photo Store

Now that the extended winter is finally over and the warm weather is here, avid front-yard gardeners will stampede to get their seedlings into the ground.

In The Maples, it’s the start of the annual celebration of the vegetable and flower gardens, where most residents will be showing off blazing colours.

"I have all my tools and gardening supplies, and I am ready to spend long hours in my flower garden," Lorna Carandang says.

Carandang’s flower show on busy Mandalay Drive is a traffic stopper in the summer. Wedding parties regularly shoot photos in Lorna’s mini flower park.

In fact, her garden is always a top contender in the annual Take Pride Winnipeg! flower bloom contest. Maples residents are reputed to nominate the most entries every year to the program.

Linda Alli is the 2012/13 district grand champion flower gardener.

"My garage is full with pots, plants and seedlings. I have to be very creative this summer that I may retain my championship," Alli says.

The stellar successes of the flower gardens have long been recognized. However, Winnipeg’s residential vegetable gardeners are clamouring for similar recognition.

A contest to display their largest and best vegetables is their quest.

Another sign of the urban garden evolution is the popular raised box planters in Winnipeg. The raised boxes can be seen on school grounds, businesses and at community centres.

Peter Krahn, a school administrator in Seven Oaks is the chairman of the Unite To Change committee. This community group of teachers, students and residents is interested in sustainability and social justice.

This summer, its members will transform a plot of land into a community garden. The plot will be next door to the Seven Oaks Adult Education/Wayfinders school at 950 Jefferson Ave., under the Manitoba Hydro towers. The project will also be used as a teaching garden.

"Getting students to care for the earth, learning to grow our own food, understand the history of indigenous peoples and the development of agriculture are some of our goals," Krahn says.

Front-yard beautification and kitchen garden tending are serious pastimes in The Maples.

We only have to wait a few weeks, and we will see creative gardens in full bloom.

Derek Dabee is a community correspondent for The Maples. You can contact him at ddabee@mymts.net.

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