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Winnipeg In Bloom

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LILLIAN PRUD'HOMME:
GARDENER, OLD ST BONIFACE
My garden got started 4 years ago as a therapeutic endeavour. My garden is everything to my wellbeing; it is my dragon boat race. I was convalescing from an extremely serious illness when I got started gardening and I have been going ever since. Gardening is a solitary enterprise and you find your own peace of mind, peace of soul while you garden.

The most noticeable thing in my garden right now are the monkshood which have grown to 7 feet in height, absolutely stupendous. Guerrilla gardening is about finding places to put plants anywhere and everywhere including other people's, behind their garage, next door neighbour's yards. It gives you a chance to instil gardening to a lot of other people.

The garden keeps you hoping. You put a plant somewhere and eventually it tells you that it doesn't like to be there. So all plans that are made in advance are usually broken by the plant itself.

When I walk out in the evening I go to look at the entire panorama of the garden. It gives me a great feeling and I always see it from what are the people looking at when they go by. Because they do look and a lot of people go by. I've heard men stop by and scream "fabulous garden"!

Each flower is a soul
opening out to nature.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


EILEEN ROSEN:
GARDENER, RIVER HEIGHTS
I think I became a gardener for an escape from pressure. A garden is a sanctuary. It's a way of connecting to nature ... it makes me feel at peace.

When I was about four or five I was in my grandmother's garden, flowers above my head, bees buzzing, and the fragrance was wonderful. And I think a garden should recapture that, that sense of oneness with the world.

When I first came here my girlfriend who is a gardening buddy of mine said you have to be crazy, how can you garden with these tree roots, with these huge trees, with this swamp, with this clay... you have to be nuts!

My favourite flowers are fragrant ones and I think it's because I remember that wonderful sweet fragrance in my grandmother's garden when I was so little. I like things that seem and feel ageless. The roses I grow are old roses but they all have fragrance. I grow lilies because of their fragrance. Another plant I really enjoy are clematis. They hide a lot of unsightly walls; they have a brilliance of colour that is probably unequalled. In fact they are called the queen of vines.

I think a good gardener has to accept serendipity. I think if you try to control everything that happens in a garden, you become frustrated so I think you have to let nature take it's course.

Gardening is an exercise in optimism.
Sometimes, it is a triumph of hope over experience.
- Marina Schinz

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