GARDEN TALK -Diane Fleming

Red Deer couple wins inaugural Naturescaping contest

In connection with making Red Deer more environmentally friendly the City announced the winner of their first annual naturescaping contest recently.

Diane and Don Fleming won first place for meeting all three groups of criteria when planning out their yard including display, biodiversity, and water conservation.

Naturescaping is a combination of water conservation and maintaining the landscape as nature would by watering less and doing as little maintenance as possible.

Diane Fleming said she was happy to be the very first winner of the naturescaping contest.

“I was very pleased when they phoned me,” said Diane, “Even to just get to the finalists, this never happened before so I was very pleased.”

The Flemings cut out half of their lawn and used rocks to acquire a more natural look and said it was a lot of work, but they’re happy with what they have created.

“We decided there were a lot of other textures, stones and rocks that could make a better look,” said Diane. She also said she finds that her yard requires less maintenance now with all the natural materials.

“Every area that is not lawn is either rocks or mulch so I noticed this year there was far less weeding,” she said. “As for watering I just fill up some watering cans, we have two rain barrels we got from the City, and that is all I do for the bedding plants and the rest of the stuff we planted according to sun or shade so I don’t have to water any of the other plants.”

The Flemings also received a $150 gift certificate to a greenhouse of their choice and were congratulated by Mayor Morris Flewwelling on their accomplishment of making their yard more natural.

“Like everything else when we are at our very best it is really, really nice and they have done a wonderful job of making this a naturescape,” said Flewwelling. “The whole idea is to bring awareness about nature and try to make our community greener without just simply lawns, which require a lot of fertilizer, care, time and create pollution with mowing and so on, and also to attract wildlife.”

Flewwelling also added naturescaping is being sensitive to the environment around you and hopes next year there will be more entries in the contest.

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