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Reflections Photo Contest

The Votes are In!

Thank you to everyone who entered our contest: Barbara W., Elaine H., Ewa T., Janet M., Janice G., Karen B., Laura C., Leticia M., Margaret J., Patricia H., Rick T., Rosemary G., and Vasile K.

We received almost 300 votes during the finalist voting. The winning entry is Resilient Bee by Janice G.


Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who submitted a photo to this contest: Barbara White, Elaine Haggith, Ewa Trebicki, Janet Melrose, Janice Grajauskas, Karen Begg, Laura Chomyn, Leticia Materi, Margaret Jarratt, Patricia Henderson, Rick Thompson, Rosemary Griebel, and Vasile Klaassenour. We really appreciated your stories and enjoyed viewing your photos.


Finalist’s Gallery

Chive Universe

Chive Universe: My mother and her mother grew chives in their kitchen gardens, for the wonderful flavour they add to food and for the beautiful flowers and their hardiness. The chive plants I have were from their plants, and I grow them in the vegetable garden and in my flower beds.

Resilient bee

Resilient bee: My husband has always been the gardener in our partnership. I would tell him he was the worker bee and I was the queen bee. Sadly my sweet husband passed away far too early. This last gardening season I began to learn how to take over the job, and the joys, of gardening. Ultimately our garden has become a place of solace and resiliency.

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink: A true heritage flower from gardens past. The Hollyhock. Always reseeding to continue to be a part of your garden for years to come and ensuring the bees have pollen to thrive.

Tiny Determination

Tiny Determination: Popping up in a crack in the asphalt, a tiny bright determined burst of colour. Looking more closely a tiny micro system is at work, in the break and faults of the pavement. Resilience and determination!

Fall Beauty

Fall Beauty: Many of the flowers in my garden remind me of my Mother's garden. She loved all the bright colours. I tend towards the same colour choices.


Click on a photo to open a gallery carousel. Use the arrows at the middle edge of the photo to change the photo. Depending on where you start viewing the gallery, there may be photos to the left or right. The story that was submitted with the photo is in the caption area below the photo.


Contest Entries

Yes We Can Grow Hyacinths in Calgary

Yes We Can Grow Hyacinths in Calgary: Hyacinths are an old fashioned heritage bulb that gardeners everywhere adore. In Calgary, it is a matter of providing them with the right location and growing conditions and then they are just as resilient as many of our more common bulbs.

Chive Universe

Chive Universe: My mother and her mother grew chives in their kitchen gardens, for the wonderful flavour they add to food and for the beautiful flowers and their hardiness. The chive plants I have were from their plants, and I grow them in the vegetable garden and in my flower beds.

Curtis

Curtis: My sister gave me this sculpture for my garden after my teenage nephew (her son) passed away in a car accident. My nephew's name was Curtis and I think of him often. I wonder what he would be doing today, where his life journey might have taken him.

Fall Beauty

Fall Beauty: Many of the flowers in my garden remind me of my Mother's garden. She loved all the bright colours. I tend towards the same colour choices.

Grandma's Lilac

Grandma's Lilac: This beautifully fragrant double white lilac is originally from my Grandma and Grandpa’s House on 20th Avenue South West in Mission/Cliff Bungalow District. It was planted in 1928 next to the back “stoop” of their new house. It graced my grandparents garden for years providing colour and Hope to the prairie garden. From there a small piece was transplanted to my parents new home in Meadowlark Park SW Calgary in 1955. It survived and flourished until I also transplanted a small chunk to two places in my garden in Millrise in 1988. It’s only about 8-10 feet in height and not a prolific grower, but each year it graces the garden with wonderfully scented double lilac blooms. It is in my mind the picture of prairie resilience and understated beauty.

Heritage Peony

Heritage Peony: This peony was purchased in 1950 from Haddock’s Greenhouse on 14th Street and about 26th Avenue SW when my parents were landscaping their new house in Knob Hill. It made the transplant to my Granma’s house in Mission for a year and then to its new home in Meadowlark Park SW Calgary where it bloomed, was split and multiplied from 1955 to 1988 when I received part of it for my new home in Millrise. It has pretty much bloomed every year since…happy as a clam on the south facing wall of my garden. To me its tenacity and strength is representative of Calgary’s Pioneering Spirit through all adversity and change.

Juanita’s rose

Juanita’s rose: I chose this photo of Juanita’s rose because a friend gave me a cutting many years ago. Her grandparents brought a piece with them when they emigrated to Canada from the Ukraine in the early 1900s. I saw it and asked for a piece! Every year it is covered in beautiful white roses with a heavenly fragrance. It has wicked thorns and beautiful black hips in the fall. I like to think of it as a survivor from troubled times then and now to the present day. It is a welcome sight in early summer to me as it gives me hope that all will be well .

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night: The snow had fallen all morning, it was rather dark and gloomy with a little bit of wind. The wind blow the snow off this lone flower. It was so bright against the snow. Something bright on a dull day.

Magnificent Mukdenia

This Mukdenia is the most resilient plant I’ve ever had in my garden. About 15 years ago, I planted it in a garden, and it grew quite well. But after several years, it began to look thin and weak. I asked a gardener what to do. He told me it would be best to divide it, so I did. I took each division and carefully planted them around the garden in the hopes that I would be able to enjoy this plant in various areas. When I woke up the next day, every little piece had been dug up by squirrels. I was devastated. The following spring, I was out in the garden, and I saw one little Mukdenia leaf. It was not in a very good spot. There was far too much sun, but I was afraid to move it . So I planted things around it in the hopes of providing some relief from the heat. The little plant came back every spring but it never flourished and rarely blossomed. In 2019, we decided to sell our home and I knew that I wanted to bring this little plant with me because it never gave up. When I lifted the plant, they were only three leaves present. As I transported it to my new home, the plant broke into two pieces. One piece had one leaf, the other had two. I took each piece and I planted it in my front garden and I nursed it with good soil. In the past three years, those little pieces have grown and spread and blossomed. It is, without a doubt, my most favourite plant in the garden. This Mukdenia has shown me that with a little attention, love, and care, everything can bounce back and blossom.

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink: A true heritage flower from gardens past. The Hollyhock. Always reseeding to continue to be a part of your garden for years to come and ensuring the bees have pollen to thrive.

Age & Beauty

Age & Beauty: This majestic crabapple tree (Malus) is not the oldest tree at the Reader Rock Garden, Calgary's National Historic Park, but it is one of the most visible. Located at the crossroads of Macleod Trail and 25th Avenue SE, every day thousands of commuters pass by this unique site. I like to think of the feelings of awe, joy, and respect the tree provides for busy commuters particularly in the spring when it is heavy with pink blossoms, or in the fall when it is on fire with colours of red and gold. In the winter its thick grey limbs speak to its age and resiliency, and are a reminder of the natural beauty and wonder woven into the city's landscape.

Resilient bee

Resilient bee: My husband has always been the gardener in our partnership. I would tell him he was the worker bee and I was the queen bee. Sadly my sweet husband passed away far too early. This last gardening season I began to learn how to take over the job, and the joys, of gardening. Ultimately our garden has become a place of solace and resiliency.

Secret Garden Portal

Secret Garden Portal: The reflective mirror I hung on the fence looks like a hidden entrance into another garden dimension. Gardening is my solitude and I often feel I’m in another world when I play in the garden, tend to my plants and how they change from a tiny seed into fresh tomatoes for the neighbourhood! A secret portal of solitude and gratitude.

Tamarac in Spring

Tamarac in Spring: Larix laricina or Tamarac or Larch is native to Canada. This tree turns a golden colour in autumn and drops its needles. Many Albertans venture to the mountains to see Larch Valley and the beautiful fall display. But in the spring the new growth pops through with vibrant lime green needles and small deep purple new cones. It is a joy to simply walk in my City of Calgary neighbourhood and find these trees alive and announcing springtime while putting a show.

Tiny Determination

Tiny Determination: Popping up in a crack in the asphalt, a tiny bright determined burst of colour. Looking more closely a tiny micro system is at work, in the break and faults of the pavement. Resilience and determination!

Uncle Willis

Uncle Willis: When my mother was a child growing up in Winnipeg in the 1930's her best friends father (Uncle Willis) had a wonderful garden. In the 50's when her friend had married & moved to Edmonton she relocated a few plants to her garden , this being one of them. She later moved to Calgary & brought the plant to her garden as well. 20 or so years ago when my Mom & I were visiting her I remarked on the plant wondering what it was (which she had no idea) but she offered me a piece which I gladly accepted. So here it is in all it's 6 foot glory (Sept 21 2017) in full bloom, which in some years it doesn't get the chance to bloom so magnificently. Oh and it took me awhile to figure out what it was but it's Boltonia asteroides.

Happy Sour Cherry Tree

Happy Sour Cherry Tree: This photo represents for me a great resiliency of a fruit tree because not only did it survive all the odds but quickly bounced back and has been bearing fruit every year for about 15 years now. I had spotted this tiny tree while visiting one of my friends, I inquired about it as it was still in the plastic black pot sitting outside in her yard on the windy cold November day. It looked as if it was destined for death. My friend said she no longer had an interest in it and said I could have if I wanted. She questioned my interest and shrugged saying it was too late to plant it anyway. I was torn. I was a novice gardener, with a small yard and no plans to have any trees, and the November weather was beckoning to go skiing and not to garden.. The tree was staring at me though and I thought what the heck. I managed to squeeze it info my SUV and later dragged it into my yard having no clue where and how to plant it. Additionally, I was fairly self-conscious about doing this crazy thing and did not want my neighbours to see me. Eventually I found a spot by the fence and started digging. Unfortunately, half frozen clay and rocky soil was not an easy and hospitable environment (for my digging and most likely for the tree). Determined, I persited for what seemed hours and finally shoved it in. I had no expectations, really. I simply could not stand seeing that young tree go to waste without giving it a chance. To my suprise, a few leaves appeared in the spring. In the following 2-3 years, I already harvested several sour cherries. Since then, the tree has been producing profusely every summer. The tree also self seeds here and there. I now have 5 trees and gave many away to my friends and neighbours. I am pretty sure this is Evans sour cherry variety. I absolutely love the white blossoms in late spring (I could not attach the second photo) followed by the abundance of fruit in August. Yes, I do leave some cherries for the birds!!!

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