Win­ner Cat­e­gory 3

Vera and Josef Pisa of Ed­mon­ton, Ab. for the best small home gar­den in a city.

Ontario Gardener Magazine - - LOCAL DIRT -

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.

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