April Showers bring May Flowers

Gardening

A place where you find yourself when you need to lose yourself

Hello Friends, thank you for being here.

In this post I’ll be taking a break from my typical policy issues, and instead writing about a passion of mine, in hopes of giving you a better understanding of the type of person that is Michael King.

(If you are looking to read my detailed platform, click here).

Early Summer in the King Garden

I inherited a love of gardening mostly from my Mother’s side. My family’s land was half a country mile long and most of my extended family lived on it; us, uncle and aunty, grandparents, great grandmother, other aunty, six cousins. My grandmother always kept massive gardens; a huge veggie patch in the back and whimsical flower beds in the front. If we wanted a snack we would go dig up carrots from the earth or pick peas and beans off the vine right into our mouths. Now, my kids do this in our backyard Pinawa paradise.

There are a lot of aspects to gardening that I really enjoy. Designing a garden is both a science and an art. There is planning and there is experimentation. There are so many variables to consider, light levels, soil type, crop rotation, and drainage. Then when it comes to plants you must consider the height, the spacing, colours, bloom time, how they spread, how they look and behave with other plants, attracting birds and polinators, if the animals will eat it or not, so much!

I think about the gardens on different levels of scale, sometimes considering the entire yard a whole, sometimes an area, sometimes down to an specific garden bed. And of course you always have to stop and consider each plant as an individual, is it thriving, or does it need help?

Meadow Sage

I have always loved design, and the garden allows for nearly unlimited expression of creativity. Perennials and permaculture are always present. Thoughtful placement of rain barrels saves money and effort for watering, wind chimes and grasses add an auditory element to the experience. We harvest fruit and vegetables from out garden with edible landscapes. Planting scarlet runners along a fence will give you nice red flowers and a wall of delicious fresh beans. Last year I finished training several grape vines onto a reclaimed arbor. Hopefully this summer the vines will bear fruit. I haven’t decided if I’ll use it to make jam or wine.

Overflow from the rain barrel now trickles through this Japanese inspired riverbed.

My Dad is a craftsman and master tile installer. The luxurious flooring of Pinewood Lodge at Dorothy Lake, including the foyer and pool, is an example of his work. He would say if you’re going to build something good, take the time to make it also look good. Functionality and aesthetics are not mutually exclusive, the best designs marries both elements into something beautiful and useful.

Allium

My focal garden project for this year an homage to my grandmother. I plan to clone and transplant a host of her favourite plants and flowers from back home in Cooks Creek into a new garden bed here. She has quite the collection of Bleeding Hearts of varied colours. I plan to put this bed somewhere with a nice view of the reserve to watch the deer and the birds which she has always loved to do. We’ve been saving seeds from her tomatoes for years, last year the plants were taller than my children!

One of the most delightful things about a garden

is the anticipation it provides

I’ve had this African Violet for 9 years.

I would like to see Pinawa enter into Manitoba Communities in Bloom. Our town hasn’t participated in this since 2001, where we received a score of 3/5. By participating we would organize a community effort towards beautification, cleanliness, sustainable management practices, and promotion and protection of natural areas. Judges would come in late summer and take a guided tour around town with an official Pinawa delegation. We would then receive an official score on a whole range of metrics. This would be a good tool that would help inform Council and community groups on areas for improvement. Not to mention the extra benefit of motivating citizens to get out and get involved, especially after the winter we’ve had this year. If you like this idea, leave a comment or send me a message!

Friends, I hope you have enjoyed this very floral edition of my blog. If you are inspired to get more plants for your garden, make sure to check out the local greenhouses in our area, and even ask your neighbours if they have any seeds or plants you can trade or share. Heck, if you want an African Violet like mine just ask! Enjoy this early Spring, and remember to vote on May 5th. Be well.

The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses

There are many benefits to gardening for you, your family, your community, and for the planet. If you would like to see greater accessibility for community gardens for families and for seniors in Pinawa, send me a message or leave a comment!

7 thoughts on “April Showers bring May Flowers

  1. Hi Michael,
    I have the Pinawa Communities in Bloom binder from 2001 if you are ever interested in viewing it. It is the template of what was given to the judges. We ranked low because one of the judges was obsessed with the fact that AECL was closing down and yet we are still here! Patty Drew and I are co-chairs of Pinawa in Bloom, which has not done much since 2006. I think that may have been the last garden tour we did. They were very popular and I ran it through the CDC office since it was very hard to get volunteers 🙂 towards the end.

    Sorry we missed you the other day…

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    1. I was surprised when I looked back and saw that Pinawa was ranked low in the CiB. That was 20 years ago now. Truth be told, I’m not convinced we would be ranked highly today either, but that such a review by a third party would be a useful tool to identify areas to improve. The Natural Restoration Areas on the Ironwood Park Trail are a great initiative, but Pinawa can do much more. If we want to promote ourselves as a sustainable green town, we’re going to have to roll up our sleeves!

      Thanks for writing!

      Like

  2. I love gardening and feel like it is so essential for grounding, and wellness. I would love to see many community garden spaces in town!

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  3. Wonderful & enlightening post Michael. We are very proud of you. I am more inspired to plant & enjoy my garden once the nice weather arrives.
    Good Luck in the May 5 elections. Mom & Dad Buchanan

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  4. Very well written and most importantly from the heart. It is a breath of fresh air to have a candidate that thinks of more than tourism. This like Cooks creek is a hometown and sadly people are moving away from that.

    Like

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