Morden hosts garden tours

Grow Your Roots Art & Garden Tours, July 6, Morden. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

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Grow Your Roots Art & Garden Tours, July 6, Morden. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

Grow Your Roots Art & Garden Tours, July 6, Morden. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

Grow Your Roots Art & Garden Tours, July 6, Morden. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

Grow Your Roots Art & Garden Tours, July 6, Morden. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

Grow Your Roots Art & Garden Tours, July 6, Morden. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

Grow Your Roots Art & Garden Tours, July 6, Morden. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

Grow Your Roots Art & Garden Tours, July 6, Morden. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

Grow Your Roots Art & Garden Tours, July 6, Morden. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

Grow Your Roots Art & Garden Tours, July 6, Morden. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

Grow Your Roots Art & Garden Tours, July 6, Morden. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

Grow Your Roots Art & Garden Tours, July 6, Morden. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

It was a chance to share Morden’s beauty and some of the city’s most dedicated gardeners opened up their outdoor spaces to the public as part of Morden’s Grow Your Roots Art & Garden Tours on July 6.
A dozen spots were available for people to tour including backyards, a local park, the City of Morden Rain Garden Project and Quilter’s Den.
Margie Hildebrand of the Morden & District Horticultural Society said they’ve been doing the self guided tour for close to 15 years.
“We all love gardening, the people in the horticultural club, and it’s a beautiful thing, so we like to share the beauty of what the gardeners in Morden are doing with the public,” she said. “Many of them are hidden in backyards, their friends and families see it but the general public doesn’t always get to appreciate what’s in the back.”
While it’s a work of passion, it still is work and Hildebrand said it’s nice to share.
“People go to a lot of trouble to tend their flowers and share information about what’s out there that’s possible to grow here in Manitoba,” she said.
Hildebrand’s yard was part of the tour. Now featuring multiple beds, a goldfish pond, pergola, trees and flowers, it’s a far cry from the home they purchased 18 years ago. “It was the house and grass,” she said.
She has no master plan but said there are some favourites including lilies, irises, Russian Olive, and Pagoda Dogwood. “I’m trying to collect as many of the Morden Roses as I can,” she said.
Tanya and Derrick Wainio’s yard was also on the tour. A mini nature sanctuary, nearly an acre of land is being transformed into a certified naturescape and an urban oasis for pollinators, butterflies, birds and native plants.
Tanya said they had a good basic garden when they started to put their stamp on things four years ago.
“I’m starting to add a lot of native prairie plants,” she said. “That’s kind of our focus, to turn it into a naturescape.”
The Wainio yard has certification from the North American Butterfly Association and Naturescape certification from Fort Whyte.
“There’s certain criteria,” she said. “You have to have certain types of plants for butterflies and bees… pollinators.”
Other requirements include capturing rain water, composting, and providing water in bird baths and butterfly puddlers.
“It’s a full time job keeping it up but we love it,” Tanya said.
She wasn’t always hooked on creating naturescapes, but said when she read Bringing Nature Home by Douglas W. Tallamy, her approach to gardening changed.
“When I read that, it was like a lightbulb went on,” she said. “He talks about how all our alien plants, like the Russian Sage that isn’t natural, doesn’t support our local insect population.”
That insect population is important because it feeds birds and helps with pollinating.
“A native plant will support hundreds of species of insects, butterflies and bees,” she said. “I’m kind of on a mission now.”
The couple still has plenty of plans for future improvements to their yard. “That’s the beauty of the garden, you’re never done,” she said.
So why put all that energy into gardening?
“It’s a lot cheaper than therapy,” she said with a laugh. “The Horticultural Society here in Morden has been a great group to work with.”
“I really want to promote that nature plantings can be beautiful,” she added.

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