Win­ner Cat­e­gory 7

Alberta Gardener Magazine - - Local Dirt -

As you en­ter The Up­lands, the Canada flag petu­nia bed stands out in a glo­ri­ous ar­ray of red and white to cel­e­brate Canada’s 150. Many of the 40 own­ers in this condo com­plex moved to the Up­lands be­cause of the ap­peal of the atri­ums and gar­dens. The com­plex con­sists of five build­ings nes­tled on ap­prox­i­mately three acres of fully treed land in the River­bend area of Ed­mon­ton. The flower gar­dens, urns, and com­mon bal­conies in the Up­lands Condo Com­plex are planned and planted by the vol­un­teer ef­forts of the own­ers in­ter­ested in gar­den­ing, lead by the So­cial Com­mit­tee, who or­ga­nize the so­cial & com­mu­nity events which in­clude the spring plant­ing of the gar­dens.

Leon Lan­glois is the res­i­dent ex­pert. Leon grew up on an acreage east of Ed­mon­ton and de­vel­oped an in­ter­est in botany as a child work­ing at his mother’s side. Leon be­lieves strongly in “Care of the Earth” and got much of his in­spi­ra­tion from work­ing with mother in the gar­den. He doesn’t re­mem­ber a time when he wasn’t help­ing in the gar­den and has al­ways had a keen in­ter­est in botan­i­cals. Leon can prob­a­bly tell you the Latin name for many of the plants grow­ing in your gar­den! He be­gan work­ing in flow­ers in 1985-86, and has had 35 years of floristry ex­pe­ri­ence. He ran a very suc­cess­ful shop, Vic­tor Michael Florists, for 25 years. At present he is in­volved in over­see­ing the five large in­door atri­ums, and plant­ing, fer­til­iz­ing & wa­ter­ing of the flow­ers on the grounds.

Louise Pringle, pres­i­dent of the so­cial com­mit­tee, is an artist who grew up on a Saskatchewan farm and as well cred­its her mother with her life­long love of flow­ers. Louise says, “It’s amaz­ing see­ing some­thing go into the ground and watch what comes up!” She has fond mem­o­ries of her mother’s flower gar­den and a life­long in­ter­est in flower and veg­etable gar­den­ing. Louise un­der­stands soil and the pro­cesses in­volved in plant growth. She now trans­fers that up­bring­ing to a love of flow­ers in the gar­dens and atri­ums sur­round­ing her home. Her ed­u­ca­tion also had an in­flu­ence on her love of flow­ers as she has a de­gree in fine arts and she owned a craft busi­ness un­til her re­tire­ment in 2009.

The street cor­ner that The Up­lands con­dos sit on is highly vis­i­ble so the com­mit­tee placed much of their fo­cus on that par­tic­u­lar cor­ner gar­den. It paid off in div­i­dends though, as the petu­nias planted to rep­re­sent the Cana­dian flag are such a strik­ing wel­come. Louise used her artis­tic tal­ents to build a paper pat­tern out of a Canada flag and they put lawn edg­ing around the forms

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