Winner Category 7
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