A local gardener has won a Communities in Bloom garden contest.
Katherine Enns, a retired biologist who has lived in Castlegar for 16 and a half years, is the grand prize winner of this year’s Home Hardware — Canada’s Backyard Contest. The prize includes a trip for two to the 2016 Communities in Bloom National & International Symposium and Awards Ceremonies in Regina, Sask., Oct. 27-29. Enns was selected as the grand prize winner from 10 finalists from around the country.
Locals may recognize Enns’ garden from this summer’s 15th annual Castlegar & Area Garden Tour, which had previously appeared on the tour five or six years earlier.
When Enns and her husband first moved into the house in 2000, “There was nothing but big trees, a few rock structures, a rhododendron, some periwinkle and lots of lawn in the garden… There was a dense forest on the riverside portion of the property, with a few dead trees.”
There are now over 50 flower beds in the garden, as well as rock gardens, trails and a pond converted from the swimming pool that was there when they moved in. Enns has introduced about 400 species of horticultural and native plants, some of which she collected during her 35 years as a biologist, working in disturbed eco systems. Her garden includes a Ginkgo biloba, the oldest species of tree still living, and many native plants, including ocean spray, a white-flowered shrub with a vanilla scent.
Some of Enns’ plants have also come from those who have passed on, including Enns’ grandparents, her parents and “Krazy Canadian” snowmobiler Dan Davidoff — a gunnera plant that belonged to Davidoff can be found in the lower garden by the river.
Enns has done a lot of work on the lower garden, though that work was interrupted by two hip replacements. Her garden is continually changing — Enns planted 35 peonies just last week — and it changes with the seasons.
“I try to make it interesting all the time,” said Enns.