Winner Category 3
Vera and Josef Pisa of Edmonton, Ab. for the best small home garden in a city.
Vera and Josef Pisa make a great team. Vera comes up with all of the wonderful ideas that you see in her garden and Josef is the guy who builds them! Take the Canada Flag flower box for example. This was a true labour of love that Josef painstakingly put together. Vera and Josef started planning their Canada 150 Garden two years ago and decided that they wanted to create a more subtle approach to the traditional red and white that would usually represent our flag. There was no easy way to put this together! He found a three foot by six foot flag that he used to create his reproduction and measured each angle individually to create the perfect Maple Leaf in the centre. The process took almost a month while Vera waited patiently to start the planting. The flower box was eight inches deep with six inches of soil in it which created a few challenges for the Pisa’s, as the garden had to be started in a greenhouse and as you can imagine, it was quite heavy! They used a variety of hens and chicks to fill in the Canada flag flower box and the effect was quite stunning! The display doesn’t end there though. They also have added a licence plate from every province and territory. Unfortunately, they couldn’t locate a licence plate for Nunavut so they used a flag to represent it instead. Underneath the water feature the licence plates were placed in the Juniper beds which Vera noticed looked quite a bit like a map of Canada!
Vera and Josef love gardening as it allows them to spend quality time together and they find it very calming while getting a little exercise in as well! Their garden began 25 years ago when Josef found that he was tired of endlessly cutting the grass. They had a vision of enjoying it year round, so the obvious choice for them was evergreens. They used almost no flowers as they focused on trees and shrubs that kept their colour through the winter. Josef has a unique ability to envision the plants that they put in years down the road which helps immensely with the planning. The Pisa’s are self-taught and have experimented with many different varieties over the years until they came up with the success that they have experienced today.
Neighbours have also benefitted from the Pisa’s winning garden as they gave away all of the plants in the flower box after the contest so that everyone could beautify their own gardens. In fact, a couple getting married needed one a little early for their wedding ceremony and were very grateful that the Pisa’s were so generous!
When the Pisa’s and their children came to Canada in 1982, they quickly embraced Canada as their own. They are very proud of their adopted country. In fact, they have already created signs celebrating Canada’s 175th and 200th birthday so that their children can continue the tradition for many years to come! Well done Vera and Josef!
It took teamwork to create the Canadian flag flower box.
Vera and Josef Pisa of Edmonton, Ab.
A truly Canadian display complete with canoes.
The garden features licence plates from across the country.
A sign celebrating Canada's provincial and territorial flowers.
Hens and chicks fill the Canada flag box.