The Year of the Garden
Garden Clippings for Jan 1, 2021
2022 has been declared the Year of the Garden. The proclamation, championed by the Canadian Garden Council, is designed to recognize the significance that gardening plays in the lives of Canadians.
It is no coincidence that the Year of the Garden falls on the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Canadian Nursery and Landscape Association. So far, the proclamation has not crossed the desk of Parliament, nor has it been dropped as a writ from the Queen, but you can bet the Canadian Garden Council along with Garden Associations everywhere will do their best to hype up the declaration.
Timing couldn’t be better. Covid-19 has triggered a major renewal in all things gardening. For nearly two years now, Canadians were largely holed up indoors. Travelling was nearly forbidden, trips the grocery store were discouraged, and citizens everywhere spent more time in their backyards than ever before.
Gardening is expected to continue to play an important role in post Covid recovery. Those involved in the horticulture industry are working hard to grow more flowers, propagate more shrubs, and plant more seedlings to satisfy the hunger of gardening Canadians. Shortages of garden related items in 2021 such as peat moss, potting soil, and certain seeds are expected to continue. Those looking for young landscape plants will find plenty selection but will be disappointed in the availability of mature trees.
The declaration comes at a time when gardening is undergoing a slow transformation. A few decades ago, we identified the upswing in perennials and the interest in water gardening as trends, but today’s shifts in focus are more about sustainability and long-term health.
A century or two ago, most of our foreparents’ gardening activity involved growing vegetables to feed the family. Ornamental gardening was reserved for those who could afford gardeners. It wasn’t till after the War that home gardens became something to admire. Nowadays, nearly a century later, gardeners are getting back to their roots by planting more carrots, potatoes, onions and celery.
Gardeners are increasingly interested in sustainability and doing what is good for the earth. Climate change is now widely recognized as a real threat, and we know that planting shade trees, green roofs and food gardens can make a sustainable difference.
As part of the Year of the Garden celebration, the Canadian Gardening Council is encouraging folks to visit and appreciate public gardens. That might mean hopping in the car to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens or the gardens of the Niagara Parkway, but it may also encourage us to stroll through Germain Park, the College St Horticulture Garden, and Greenhill Gardens just outside Wilkesport. Visit these parks often to see how gardens change through the seasons.
Other activities the Canadian Gardening Council is promoting are the honoring of First Nation’s history of living in harmony with plants and nature, planting gardens in school yards, recognizing garden heroes, and encouraging memberships in gardening organizations.