Spring has finally arrived and many of us have itchy green thumbs. I love gardening and working in my yard. It is like therapy to me and brings me so much pleasure. There are many nurseries at my end: Shelmerdine Garden Centre, T & T Seeds, D J Paterson’s Garden Centre, A Paterson Beddings Plants, Bosch & Sons Greenhouses, Leclerc M Greenhouses and Canadian Tire to name just a few. Are there any new flowers or plants this year? Should I try something different or stick to the tried and true? This year will be especially important for me as I have offered my yard for tours in 2024 as a fundraising initiative by the Charleswood Garden Club with funds going to One Just City (drop in and warming centre for the homeless). It is always challenging to find plants that the deer don’t like – unfortunately, Hostas aren’t one of them.
In addition to our flower beds, many people also have their own vegetable garden. With the skyrocketing prices of fruit and vegetables, this summer would be the perfect time to try and grow many of your own vegetables. If you don’t have the room to grow your own vegetable garden, there are some spots nearby on the north side of Assiniboine River by the west Perimeter. Plots are available to rent there for very reasonable prices. Many studies have shown us that gardening is an excellent hobby, not just for the money saved by growing your own, but the benefits for both physical and mental health are remarkable. There is nothing better than eating home grown tomatoes – it makes the ones bought in the stores seem tasteless.
Another part of the greenery in our neighbourhood are the countless parks. Many are just green spaces and many also have playground structures for the children. Even after living in Charleswood for 40 years, I still come across little green spaces tucked away that I hadn’t seen before. Of course, the Harte Trail is the jewel of the neighbourhood in Charleswood; the Grand Trunk Trail is the jewel in Headingley. Both are considered part of the Trans Canada Trail and used by cyclists and walkers alike on a regular basis. At this moment there is actually a feasibility study going on looking at the possibility of connecting the two trails. At the present, many people try to dodge traffic on the highway to cross which is very dangerous. Stakeholders from various levels of government and other stakeholders are looking at the possibility of building either an under or overpass so the Harte Trail and Grand Trunk Trail can be connected.
Two other gems right in our neighbourhood are the Assiniboine Forest and Assiniboine Park. The Charleswood Rotary Club is the Keepers of the Assiniboine Forest and have just undertaken another huge project to modernize and improve the facilities in Assiniboine Forest. They started by erecting a beautiful new sign welcoming people to Assiniboine Forest. Other improvements include increased parking, expanded and improved hard surface and wood-chip trails, and addition of public washrooms, benches and rest areas. Assiniboine Park has also undergone a huge transformation, the most notable being the opening of the Leaf. I was impressed at my visit to the Leaf to walk among the various biomes looking at all of the greenery that is growing there. It was also a treat to see the highest indoor waterfall in Canada there.
The Charleswood Garden Club is a very active group of dedicated gardeners. They often offer free workshops on various aspects of gardening. Check them out at www.charleswoodgc.ca
Another activity where we can enjoy the lush greenery and tree canopies are on one of the many golf courses we have in Manitoba. In my neighbourhood we have lovely Breezy Bend Golf Club, Tuxedo Golf Club and up until recently John Blumberg. There are also ball diamonds and soccer fields at the community centres. Playgrounds can be found within a 10 minute walk in most cases.
Charleswood and Headingley recently announced the Green Team grants that various organizations in our constituency will be receiving – some for gardening/yard projects and some for recreation. Charleswood Rotary received a grant for some of their work in Assiniboine Forest, Varsity View Community Centre for grounds maintenance, Friends of the Harte Trail for their trail maintenance, and seasonal maintenance of the Charleswood Baseball Field on Wilkes.
So whether you are going for a walk, run, bike ride or a game of golf enjoy the greenery around you. Take your kids or grandkids to one of the many parks and playgrounds. It is amazing how much better you feel when you spend time outdoors.
A Glimpse of Myrna's Garden