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If you have news to share on exciting projects, initiatives or success stories for your CiB program, please send the information or direct link to the CiB article to or call us at (514) 694-8871 for more details.

We’re looking forward to reading about your community!

 *The articles in this section are published under its original language.

  • NCC – 120 years of Capital building

    As we prepare to launch the 25th edition of Communities in Bloom, we would like to congratulate the National Capital Commission (NCC), which is celebrating an important milestone in its history. In fact, 2019 marks the 120th anniversaryof the NCC and its predecessors — 120 years of achievements in building a dynamic capital that is a source of pride for Canadians and a legacy for generations to come.

    In 1899, urban planning was introduced in the Capital with the creation of the Ottawa Improvement Commission. What initially constituted modest efforts at improvement, over the years, became a complex activity involving planning, development and conservation.

    Today, the NCC owns and manages about 11 percent of the lands in Canada’s Capital Region, including Gatineau Park, the Greenbelt, the Rideau Canal Skateway, urban parks, pathways, scenic parkways, heritage buildings and properties, agricultural and research facilities, commemorative monuments, and six official residences. It is also the official gardener of Canada’s Capital, responsible for designing flower beds and planting close to a million tulips in the Ottawa–Gatineau region.

    With its 120 years of experience, the NCC adds unique value to the Capital Region by fulfilling three specific roles: long-term planner of federal lands, principal steward of nationally significant public places, and creative partner committed to excellence in development and conservation.

    The NCC encourages creativity and innovation in all that it does. This means building strong relationships with people and organizations in the Capital Region and across the country, including the regional municipalities and Indigenous communities.

    It is in this spirit that the NCC became involved as a founding partner in Communities in Bloom, and, today, it remains one of our primary partner organizations after 25 years of commitment and contribution. It supported the creation of the program, and organized the first national awards ceremonies in 1995 on Parliament Hill. Since then, the NCC has been on the jury each year, offering a gift of 5,000 tulip bulbs to the city hosting the national symposium, and providing the unique trophies awarded to the winners: a piece of red granite from Confederation Boulevard, extracted from the Canadian Shield in Quebec, and adorned with a pewter maple leaf.

    Congratulations to the NCC for its excellent work over the past 120 years in planning, stewardship, and protecting and enhancing nature in the National Capital Region.

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  • Zreče, Slovenia – The area of wellbeing

    Zreče is a settlement in the north-eastern part of Slovenia, lying on the outskirts of the Pohorje mountain range in the upper valley of the river Dravinja. The settlement is limited by the surrounding hills – in the north and in the east from the ridge which is descending from Rogla (part of this is the hill Brinjeva gora), in the west from the ridges Sleme, Zabork and Križevec. The city of Zreče (395 meters above sea) is the centre of the municipality and it encompasses six local communities, namely: Zreče, Stranice, Gorenje, Skomarje, Resnik and Dobrovlje. In Municipality Zreče live 6.455 citizens. Zreče developed as a unified settlement in the last twenty years and become a town in 1987.  Brinjeva gora above Zreče is an archeological site and a pilgrimage path. It lies on a hilltop with the same name and it is situated 630 meters above sea. Zreče is an important economic and tourism centre of the broader area, the Municipality of Zreče is extremely oriented towards tourism and industry (UNIOR d.d., WEILER ABRASIVES D.O.O. and GKN DRIVELINE SLOVENIJA d.o.o). These two sectors are also the leading economic activities, equal and they cooperate well together. Till 1965 a narrow gauge railway connected Zreče and this from the direction of Poljčane and Slovenske Konjice. This made a huge impact on the development of the town and of its surroundings.

    The biggest provider of accommodation and tourism services at the destination is the company UNITUR d.o.o. which operates the low mountain sports and ski centre Rogla and the thermal spa Terme Zreče. The company Unitur d.o.o. is successfully cooperating with other providers of tourism services at the destination as they are aware of the added value which these providers represent within the development and marketing of products in accordance with the trends and expectations of guests. In town there are also a private accommodations such as hotels, apartments, tourist farms,…

    Many open green spaces are available in and around the town. They have various forms and sizes, with different green plantings. Especially the green areas in the town are of a high ecological importance. Green spaces enable walks, rest, fun, play, sports and leisure activities…These are spaces which offer all inhabitants in the town and in other settlements the possibility for leisure activities which is increasing the housing culture of the town. Numerous excursion points and well-arranged cultural-historical and ethnological sites in Zreče and in the broader destination are a popular motif for visiting our area. Regardless, if the guest decide to visit the spa, to hike to the lakes of Lovrenc, to the hilltop Brinjeva gora, to go for a walk around the lake of Zreče, to visit the adventure park called The Devil’s land with a Pohorje village, the Dwarfs educational trail, to slide down the adrenaline sled on Rogla, to visit the Skomarje house, the blacksmith Ošlak and the Museum of the narrow gauge railway or they try a pint of the blacksmith’s beer from the brewery of the Hotel Underneath Rogla, they will feel good here.

    Destination Rogla – Pohorje includes the municipalities Zreče, Slovenske Konjice, Vitanje and Oplotnica which are intensively developing its tourism offer in the last decades. This is based on irreplaceable natural resources, extraordinary cultural-historical and ethnological heritage, a well-developed tourism infrastructure and a authentic Pohorje hospitality. Within the destination the municipality of Zreče is developing into a recognisable tourism municipality with a development and marketing strategy set for the period from 2017 to 2021 which is strongly influencing not only on the quality of holidays but on the quality of life of the local population. The vision of tourism development within the municipality of Zreče is based on recognition, competitive offer, arrangement of environment, natural and cultural heritage and the development of an environmentally friendly sustainable tourism. It boasts with the motto »Area of wellbeing«.

    In 2005, the town was twinned with Sedbergh in Cumbria, UK. The efforts of Sedbergh to find a twin town were featured in a BBC documentary, The Town That Wants A Twin and Zreče was the winning town. In all that years both towns exchanged a lot of different groups of citizens between them. On 22 nd September 2018, Zreče achieved a standard of excellence which merits a Gold Award presented at the Prize – giving ceremony in Tullamore, Ireland.

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  • Wentworth Come Alive Outside

    Think of your favourite childhood memories…chances are they involved being outside. 

    Connecting with nature by working, playing and living outdoors is an essential part of our nature.  We somehow feel more alive, our senses more acute to the many compelling attractions of being outside.  When we recall those childhood memories, we’re doing things…really living…outside.

    Today’s plugged-in, sedentary lifestyles are quite the opposite of those days of our youth.  Outdoor games have been replaced with indoor, plugged-in recreation.  The art of gardening has largely been lost.  Our experience and connection with nature and the natural world around us has become minimal.  All of these factors have led to significant health issues directly related to the sedentary lifestyle so prevalent within all ages of our communities, especially the young.  The New England Journal of Medicine stated that if these health issues related to our sedentary lifestyles goes unchecked, this generation may live a shorter lifespan than their parents by as much as five years.

    Come Alive Outside is a Landscape Profession led movement to counter these health implications by creating the awareness, intention and opportunity to live a healthier life outside.   The five principles of Come Alive Outside are:

    Get Active Outside
    Connect with Nature
    Play unplugged
    Grow something you can eat
    Learn with your hands in the soil

    By focusing the design of our home gardens, parks and greenspaces around these principles, we provide the opportunities to re-capture those childhood memories, connect with nature and live healthier lives.

    Get Active Outside
    We intuitively know that we feel better when we’re outside.  Our senses are awakened to the natural world around us.  Whether it be walking or running within our community, hiking on nature trails, or working and playing in our gardens, we feel better for having done so.  Outdoor fitness equipment is now available within our parks, offering a wide range of stretching, strengthening and cardio activities. 

    Connect with Nature
    This current generation of children has a greater academic understanding of nature and the environment than any generation before it, but little personal experience of it.  It’s a universal truth that we protect those things that we have personal experience interaction with.  We need to get our children outside and connected with nature.  This can be as simple as observing the plants in our gardens, observing bugs and animals, watching the sky as different cloud formations come and go.  Observing and learning that everything in nature is interconnected, including ourselves, is a powerful lesson that frames how we view and care for the natural world.

    Play Unplugged
    On average, children spend upwards of seven hours a day connected to some kind of electronic device.  This has largely replaced outdoor play and physical activity, and the face-to-face social skills that are developed through outdoor play.  Only 1 in 8 Canadian children get the minimal recommendation of one – two hours of physical activity a day.  Children need to learn the lost art of unstructured play.  Teaching them the outdoor games of previous generations not only strengthens intergenerational relations, but it’s a whole lot of fun for everyone.

    Grow Something You Can Eat
    Edible gardening is one of the fastest growing trends amongst homeowners.  Learning the simple basics of gardening through growing something you can eat is tremendously rewarding, especially for children.  It teaches them about our food sources, connects them with growing cycles, and provides an activity that they take great pride in, especially when the fruits of their efforts ends up on the dinner table.

    Learn with Your Hands in the Soil
    All of these activities can result in children “learning with their hands in the soil”.  The connection with the earth and natural systems, especially gardening, provides a multitude of benefits.  Numerous therapeutic benefits have been noted in recent studies, largely focused on our feeling healthier, happier and smarter.

    Come Alive Outside Programs
    Come Alive Outside assists in organizing five core community Programs:

    Green Streets Challenge
    With the support of Landscape Ontario, we produced nine events in Canada and another five in the US in 2018.

    Come Alive Outside Design Challenge
    The Design Challenge creates the opportunity for college and university students, high school, elementary and pre-school students to work together with landscape professionals to design and build natural schoolyards and play spaces in communities across North America.

    Community Activity Passports
    This community based program gives families extra incentive to stay active and take advantage of access to nearby nature.  Children earn points and win prizes for visiting local parks, farmers markets and community events to complete tasks or find secret codes.

    Mile a Day
    Mile a Day is a walking challenge that encourages individuals and teams from different worksites to establish and track healthy walking habits.  This program is active in several communities in Vermont, with 66% of participants reporting overall increased activity levels.

    Park Rx
    Park Rx is a national movement for doctors and healthcare providers to initiate the conversation with patients about the health benefits of spending time in nature through prescriptions for time outdoors.

    Go to to learn more about how you and your community can get involved.

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  • International Peace Garden

    Nestled in a wooded area of southern Manitoba stands a sun-filled building unlike any other in Canada. The aspen forest surrounding The Conservatory at the International Peace Garden is familiar to neighbours of theTurtle Mountain, but inside lives a foreign wonderland. The Conservatory is home to 6,000 cacti and succulents from deserts around the globe — making it one of the most diverse xeric plant collections on any continent.

    A fairly recent addition to the 85-year-old International Peace Garden, The Conservatory serves as a year-roundcompliment to the colorful acres of annuals and perennials that entice thousands of horticulturists, recreationists and thinkers each summer. Vibrant pinks, oranges and yellows pop from breathtaking blooms of spiney, sharp and gnarly cacti of North America, South America and Africa. The collection is seeking more space to flourish and educate after nearly a decade at the world’s only Garden spanning an international border. Donated by a long-time collector in neighboring North Dakota, the plants range in age from the collection’s origins more than 50 years ago to newly acquired rare species. Familiar species like the barrel cactus and Saguaro provide iconic North American beauty alongside African aloes and euphorbias. The Peace Garden is eager to campaign for support to more than double the space under glass. With more room for growth and visitor experience, the collection is poised to become a world-leader in advocating for peace through the beauty of plant life. These desert plants will tell rich tales of the cultures, economies and cooperation that surpasses the restrictions of international boundaries.

    Join us just south of Boissevain, MB, for a most unique experience at a long-standing institution representing the bestof Canada’s ideals and hopes for peace. The adjoining Interpretive Centre features a cafe and gift shop from Maythrough August.

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  • Canadian Composting

    Organic materials should never be sent for burial in a landfill, whether at home, work or play, in the garden or at places where you eat, shop and gather. In a landfill, organics waste space, dirty our waters and create methane gas which contributes to Global Warming. It’s not good and not what Nature intended.

    Organics need to be recycled, returned to our soils to restore their vitality. Compost provides the texture, structure and nutrients needed for healthy soils and plant growth.

    There are a lot of things that just can’t be changed in a lifetime.

    But one thing that is possible is improving how we care for our soils as well as our environment.

    And an easy first step is based on a simple equation:

    What you take out, you must put back in.

    Recycling your organics should be a natural for all of us. There really is no good excuse to do otherwise.

    For every tonne of organics that is recycled, we save at least one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions.

    Diverting organics from landfills reduces the amount of materials buried in them by at least 40%!

    Organics are largely responsible for the leachate that landfills create and which must be “managed” at a great cost.

    For these reasons alone, burying organics in landfills is just plain dumb.

    Add to this, the needs of our soils.

    In the last century, it’s been estimated that over half of our soils’ vitality has been lost.

    Our soils need organics to be returned to them. Compost is good for soils.

    Compost, whether created in a backyard compost bin, through community and on-site composting or at composting and anaerobic digestion facilities, is the essence of soil life.

    The soil micro-organisms which live in our soils – the creatures of the soil food web and which are responsible for nutrient cycling – need the food that compost provides to boost soil’s natural fertility as well as enhance its protective shield, providing disease resistance for the vegetation which call soil their home.

    Compost adds organic matter to the soil which improves its structure. Better structure allows soils to infiltrate and hold more water, a real benefit to water conservation and water quality.

    Compost is truly one of Life’s miracles.

    As we go about our lives, we must all begin to realize our own responsibility to be part of the miracle, enabling Life on our planet to continue.

    And it all starts in a really simple way — RECYCLE YOUR ORGANICS. RETURN LIFE TO OUR SOILS. COMPOST!

    For more information on anything about organics recycling, compost, healthy soils and how to engage your community into action, please connect with us @ The Compost Council of Canada. 1-877-571-GROW(4769) or 416-535-0240.

                                                                    Written by Susan Antler,
    Executive Director
    The Compost Council of Canada

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  • A.M.A. Horticulture Inc. – Saving Water for the City of Edmonton

    Hanging baskets make cities beautiful, but they often require a lot of water. And that doesn’t come cheap. It costs taxpayers, and the environment. The City of Edmonton turned to A.M.A. for an innovative solution that’s helping them save on water, labour and fertilizer costs.

    Dorothy Jedrasik is the Crew Leader at the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton, where all of the city’s hanging baskets are made. When she first started in her role, she identified an opportunity to improve efficiencies and reduce costs.

    “We were using moss liners with a silver bowl pan wired to the underside to hold excess water. They were expensive and labour intensive to plant. And they had to be watered every day by our water trucks,” said Jedrasik. “I knew we could do better, so I called A.M.A.”

    Edmonton switched to the H2O Labour-Saver hanging basket. The 23″ basket has a removable liner, a reservoir drainage plug and a heavy-duty plastic hanger that’s built to last. Its 2.6 gallon reservoir means that municipalities, hospitals, universities or corporations can spend less time watering, reducing their water, labour and fertilizer costs. In Edmonton, the impact was significant.

    “We went from watering every single day to watering every 2-3 days in sunny, windy locations and every 4-5 days in shaded, protected locations,” said Jedrasik. “Another advantage of these baskets is that they’re lightweight and easy to transport around the city. When drivers come to the greenhouse to pick up the baskets, they drain the water from the reservoir so they’re easy to lift. Once at the final location, our water trucks come and refill the reservoirs back up.”

    Edmonton has been using the H2O Labour-Saver hanging baskets for five years, and other municipalities have taken note of their success.

    “We get calls from outside Edmonton asking about them. They have outperformed every other hanging basket we’ve tried.”

    A.M.A is proud to supply this sustainable solution to the City of Edmonton. To learn more about how the H2O Labour-Saver can help you save water, contact Anne-Marie Klaas.Discover how we can deliver innovative, custom solutions for your success today.

    Edmonton saving water hanging basket H2O labour saver basket sustainability

    Dorothy Jedrasik, Crew Leader at the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton, with the H2O Labour-Saver hanging baskets.

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  • Yarmouth ready to host 2019 national Communities in Bloom Convention, say judges

    Communities in Bloom judges Tina Liu and Susan Ellis with Yarmouth CIB chair and town councillor Wade Cleveland. – Carla Allen


    Communities in Bloom judges share observations of Yarmouth

    YARMOUTH – Communities in Bloom judges visited Yarmouth last month to tabulate observations for the town’s entry in the annual Communities in Bloom competition.

    Yarmouth has competed in the event for close to a decade.

    The non-profit organization is committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program, with a focus on enhancing green spaces in communities.

    Susan Ellis is a graduate of the universities of Guelph, Western and Waterloo. She has enjoyed a multifaceted career as an educator, professional marketing and advertising consultant, and municipal manager of economic development, recreation and tourism. She is also an award-winning creative director and copywriter of several marketing campaigns.

    Ellis was in Yarmouth six years ago and says it has “changed profoundly” since then.

    “It’s really uplifting to hear how the community came together to help change the perspective of where they were and where they wanted to be,” she said. “It’s totally what Communities in Bloom is as well.”

    She referred to the work that‘s been done along Main Street as “lovely and iconic.”

    “You’ve done a really great job of creating a place where people want to linger,” she said.

    With regard to areas needing improvement, she stressed the importance of looking at the overall site plan development for the entire town and paying specific attention to industrial areas.

    “Make sure constraints are there so that landscaping takes place as well so that the whole community kind of flows from one area to the next,” she said. “The residential areas are absolutely gorgeous.”

    Tina Liu has practised landscape architecture for over 20 years in a diverse range of high-profile projects in Canada and overseas. As the design manager of the Capital Floral Program, she leads the design of flower bulbs in spring, annual floral display in summer and fall, and perennial bed designs based on the NCC Capital Floral Vision.

    Liu referred to Yarmouth as a “five-star town.”

    “The committee and the town are doing everything right. We have suggestions for improvement but not many,” she said.

    The most impressive aspect of her visit, she said, was how welcoming and inviting the community is.

    “The façade program that you have is awesome. When you drive along Main Street the colour adds so much character to the town. The signage is so authentic and not overwhelming,” she said.

    During her debriefing with the Yarmouth CIB committee she suggested developing a birds-eye view master plan of parks, the trail grid and other attractions, showing them linked together.

    Winners of the 2018 competition will be announced during the 2018 CIB award ceremony in Strathcona County, Alberta, Sept. 26-29.

    The Town of Yarmouth will host the 2019 national CIB symposium Sept. 24-29 of next year. Close to 250 delegates from Canada and the U.S. are expected to attend.

    “You’re ready,” Ellis said. “Just keep doing what you’re doing.”

    More about Communities in Bloom in Yarmouth

    Yarmouth’s CIB committee has been chaired by several since its inception close to a decade ago: Esther Dares, the late Ken Langille, Yarmouth town councillor Sandy Dennis and, most recently, councillor Wade Cleveland.

    Here’s a list of CIB awards Yarmouth has received over the years:

    2017 – 5 leaves – bronze in the Canada 150 Category, with recognition for the Downtown Core Streetscape

    2016 – 5 blooms – bronze in the Circle of Excellence Category, with recognition for Helping Hands & Growing Pride

    2015 – 5 blooms – bronze in the Circle of Excellence Category, with recognition of Streetscape Upgrades on Hawthorn Street

    2014 – National Winner in the 5,001-9,000 population category, with recognition of Mayor’s All Hands on Deck Initiative

    2012 – 5 blooms in the 6,501-10,000 population category, with recognition for the Art Gallery’s Innovative Programs

    2013 – 5 blooms in the 5,001-10,000 population category and the Canadian Nursery and Landscape Association Environmental Action award

    2011 – 5 blooms in the 7,501-10,000 population category, with recognition of the 250th Anniversary Celebration as a Community

    2010 – 5 blooms in the 3,001-7,500 population category, with recognition for Reverence for Heritage

    2009 – 4 blooms in the 5,001-8,000 population category, with recognition for Blooms by the Sea

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    It all began with two sisters going on a road trip.   Back in 2014, Bev Prout and her sister were on a quilting “Shop Hop”.   After a couple of hours they started to run out of steam (and money) for shopping and started noticing the beautiful wooden quilt patterns hanging on various barns.  As luck would have it, they were on the Longwoods Barn Quilt Trail in Middlesex County. Having heard about Barn Quilts a few years earlier Bev’s interest was piqued as they continued following the trail, observing the beautiful Barn Quilts along the way.

    The idea for Barn Quilt Trails is credited to Donna Sue Groves and was launched in Adams County, Ohio in 2001. Barn quilts are typically eight foot squares of wood painted in a quilt pattern.  Designs are either selected from existing quilt patterns or original patterns designed by the owners.  They are usually hung on barns or posts.  Each quilt tells a story and is representative of the families who create them.  A quilt trail displays the heritage and landscape of each area in which its found. For instance, Bev’s own barn quilt represents four generations of Prouts, their four daughters, and the four seasons of the year.

    Fast forward to 2016 when two woman, Denice and Mary, known as the Barn Quilt Ladies, spoke at a meeting of the Huron Perth Quilters Guild. Denice and Mary had created a trail in Wardsville, helped other communities in the Windsor to London area with their trails, and worked on a committee, funded through the Trillium foundation, to put together a website to host trails in Ontario, as well providing information as how to paint a barn quilt, and put a trail together.  Attending the talk with Bev, was a fellow member of South Huron Communities in Bloom (CiB), Chair Cathy Seip. Cathy quickly recognized an opportunity for her organization to provide leadership and said “this is something we could do!” 

    The trail concept was adopted by the CiB and members got to work. Working through the Heritage Committee, letters were sent out to Heritage Farm Owners inviting them to participate.  A notice was put in the local newspaper and on the CiB facebook page seeking interested persons.   A display was presented at the Home and Garden Show in Exeter.  A grant obtained from Canada 150, distributed through the Grand Bend Community Foundation, provided funding for the purchase of 12 boards.  These were distributed to the first 12 people who were ready to start.  Bev, along with her husband, Tom, hosted workshops (technically painting parties) and so began the start of the South Huron Quilt Trail.

    A Trail Guide was put together by the summer of 2017.  South Huron Communities in Bloom also worked with the International Plowing Match (IPM) in promoting their quilt trail, the Huron County Trail, for Canada’s 150th anniversary.  South Huron now has 32 barn quilts with several more in the making.

    If you think designing and making a barn quilt is something you would like to do as a legacy for your family; here are the basic steps:

    1. A large Barn Quilt takes 2 4×8 sheets of MDO GOS plywood; of course smaller ones can be cut from these
    2. Prime both sides with two coats of a good quality primer
    3. Mark the first colour (sometimes you can paint two at once if they don’t butt up to each other) with painter’s tape
    4. Apply 2-4 coats of colour, at least four hours apart. Take the tape off after the last coat
    5. Repeat the painting
    6. Let dry for about a week, then seal with two coats of sealant.

    South Huron Communities in Bloom continues to promote the Barn Quilt Trail.  If you have questions or would like to get involved contact

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  • Town of Novi Vinodolski – Croatian candidate for International Challenge 2018

    Novi Vinodolski is a typical, small Mediterranean town located at the point where the Adriatic Sea reaches deepest into the harsh beauty of the karstic mountains.

    This is a place boasting as many as 1865 recorded plant species which create sun-bathed flocks of flowers that allure with their fragrances, and form a colourful palette offering an inexhaustible source of inspiration for artists.

    Here the fragrances and flavours of sage, rosemary and wormwood, of stone and sea, blend with the scent of legends and the times gone by.

    Lopar, once a fortress, today is a stone album of memories, weathered by salt and wind, bearing witness to the ancient Romans who planted grapevine and enjoyed the wines, and named this region Valis Vinearia – the Valley of Wine.

    Quite a special testimony to the ever vibrant life in these parts, are the Vinodol Statutes dating from 1288. The restored citadel and tower of the Frankopans, the famous family of the Croatian nobility, is the place where this pearl of the world legal and cultural history, and the kernel of the local self-government, written in the Croatian language and Glagolitic script, was created.

    Rising in the park right above the sea, wrapped in the green lace of the imposing Mediterranean pines, is the bust of Ivan Mažuranić, Croatian poet and Viceroy, one of the first architects of the modern Croatian state.

    Living at the intersection of different climates and cultures the people of Novi have not forgotten, indeed have lovingly guarded, their own traditions and customs. And it is during the carnival time, locally known as “mesopust”, that these tenacious, sturdy and proud people show them in all their wealth. In the main square a popular wheel-dance is danced, folk songs are sung, girls wear their lovely folk costumes – and all together they form an enchanting weave of ornaments, colours, joy and all round merriment.

    Ringing through Novi Vinodolski and its cellars, taverns and restaurants is the grand song of wine and life, enabling those of the like mind to share worldly pleasures, and their intoxicated souls to become immortal. Each of those places becomes the spring of music, celebrating both in verse and picture the brightness of life and creating a symphony of pleasures for body and soul.

    In recent years Novi Vinodolski has been changing its face almost daily, adeptly donning new robes, pleasing to its guests.

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  • The Children’s Garden of Hope

    By Evelyn Alemanni

    Lynn Gould is on a mission to bring a special garden to your town. She has a heartfelt vision that every community in Canada should have a flower garden recognizing the need for research for a cure for children’s cancer. It was in 2016 that her precious 12 year old granddaughter, Natasha, passed away from brain cancer. Soon after, Lynn and her family contacted the city of Trail, BC, where they live, to find a site for a garden. It’s not a memorial garden, rather a garden to remind us that cancer strikes children and of all cancers, childhood cancer research gets the least funding.

    Joining with friends, family, and neighbors, Lynn planted perennials for easy care: Russian Sage, Burberry Shrub, Stella Dora daylilies, Delphinium, Dwarf Daisy, Dwarf Phlox. These are augmented by 250 mixed color zinnias.

    Lynn says, “This is like every garden… it will evolve, but always airy with bright colours.”

    Every day people drive by this stunning corner and are reminded of families who may have a loved one suffering from this disease. To date, Lynn and her family have raised nearly $40,000 for childhood cancer research and people passing the garden have generously sent additional contributions.

    Consider planting such a garden where you live – hopefully one day childhood cancer will be prevented or cured thanks to people who planted gardens that raise awareness.

    Anyone wishing to support research for pediatric cancer as a tribute to Natasha support the Canadian Children’s Brain Cancer Foundation.


    Lynn Gould

    Lynn and Natasha

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  • International Peace Garden: Dedicated to the celebration of peace

    Author: Nicollette (Nicki) Weissman, International Peace Garden, Event Coordinator/Marketing/ Gift Shop Manager

    The International Peace Garden exists as testimony to the promise that peace between countries and people is an achievable dream, and that peace on earth, one of the most enduring aspirations of our world, is possible. The International Peace Garden represents the best ideals of humankind.

    The Peace Garden is a dream that began in 1928, after a meeting of the National Association of Gardeners attended by horticulturalist, Dr. Henry J. Moore of Islington, Ontario and Joseph Dunlop, of South Euclid, Ohio. Together, they envisioned a botanical garden commemorating the long, peaceful coexistence of the people of Canada and the United States. Only four years later, on July 14, 1932, Dr. Moore and Mr. Dunlop were standing on the North Dakota and Manitoba border in the middle of North America, along with more than 50,000 people from Canada and the USA, at the official opening of the International Peace Garden.

    The International Peace Garden, spanning 2,339 acres, is the largest garden in the world dedicated to the celebration of peace, and is the only garden straddling an international boundary. Since its opening, it has hosted hundreds of thousands of people as a place of contemplation, renewal, inspiration and friendship. The Peace Garden has come to represent a meeting place between friends, rather than a border that separates two countries.

    The International Peace Garden’s 85th anniversary will be celebrated July 14 and 15. Events are being planned and will be posted on the Peace Garden’s website, in the coming months.

    In May, the garden will start coming alive with the perennials that were planted in the fall and over many years. The beautiful yellow tulips will welcome visitors as they enter the garden. In the first part of June, 150,000 annuals will be planted in the formal garden area, along with many pots throughout the garden. It is a beautiful sight when all the flowers are in bloom.

    The Interpretive Center houses the largest cacti and succulent collection    in the state of North Dakota. The Vitko Xeric collection has more than 6,000 thriving cacti and succulents. At the Interpretive Center, you can enjoy them any time of the year, and early spring is a good time to see the variety and profusion of blooms this diverse collection puts on display. The Interpretive Center also has the café and gift shop, which are open May through September.

    The Peace Garden is a tranquil place to visit. We hope you will take the time to experience it this summer.

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  • Ball Horticultural Company – Tried & True

    Plant confidently with these low-maintenance, continuously flowering plants that make a positive impression.

    Shopping at a garden center can feel overwhelming. While your eye may be drawn to unique flower shapes, colors and textures, keep in mind that putting the right plant in the right place is the key to success. And using tried-and-true options can be just as appealing as trying the Next New Thing.

    There are several plants that just “work” and make yo

    u look like you hired a landscaper. Planting these reliable varieties require little or no maintenance. They also tend to flower continuously and always make a positive impression on guests to your garden.

    SunPatiens® is a series of Impatiens that deliver exceptional outdoor performance, tolerating all weather in Spring, Summer and Fall. They also thrive in sun or shade spaces, making it easy to place them wherever you want bright color. SunPatiens are generally resistant to disease, which means more flowers longer with less worry.

    Another easy-to-grow flower for sunny mid-border landscapes is Bonanza French Marigold. These are large, double-crested blooms in the orange and gold color family. They grow under a wide range of weather conditions, and make a gorgeous impact then packed tightly together.

    The new breeding going into begonias over the past decade has been fantastic, and has produced some must-have plants. Megawatt is an interspecific begonia that gives you massive garden power. They grow and fill in fast when planted in the garden or in large containers. Because they take both sun and shade, they make excellent balcony choices when you’re looking to thrill your outdoor spaces. The sturdy flower stems of Megawatt hold the blooms above the glossy foliage for maximum color. Its drought tolerance and no-maintenance growth make this a true winner.

    Whether you lead a busy life or struggle with keeping a green thumb, the flowers above are forgiving and ready to make you look like a pro. Use these tried-and-true options and bask in a successful garden space.


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