Annual contest rewards city’s amazing gardens


Flower Power 2013 is the theme of Take Pride Winnipeg’s 16th annual Winnipeg in Bloom Contest. 
It is a free contest held for all properties in the city of Winnipeg. Front yard properties are judged based on curb appeal, innovative features and property cleanliness.  
“We know that there are many amazing gardens in Winnipeg, but they need to call us to enter, because we can’t drive down every street looking for them,” said Tom Ethans, executive director of Take Pride Winnipeg. “We want to celebrate their efforts and the fabulous curb appeal they add to city streets. Don’t be shy — enter today!”  
It is fun to encourage a friendly competition — enter your own property and challenge your neighbours to get involved. Get active with your family and make it part of a way to share your passion with your children and grandchildren.
 For residential entries, the city is divided into 14 areas, with a dedicated judging team for each area. Volunteer judges will view and rate each front yard garden on their area list.   
“We have known some gardeners who are far too modest,” said Colleen Kurlowich, manager of programs and operations for Take Pride Winnipeg, “Thinking their garden isn’t very impressive, but it really wowed the judges. Many of these properties are nominated by friends and neighbours.”
Take Pride Winnipeg is interested in increasing the curb appeal of the entire city of Winnipeg. There may be a number of fabulous back yards in the city, but often they are hidden by fences and other obstructions. Winnipeg in Bloom encourages Winnipeggers to show off their skills in their front yards, where they can be appreciated by all.
Many Winnipeggers know this contest is open to residential properties, but don’t realize there are other categories. 
Businesses often face challenges with frontage and lack of space to garden. Get creative. Create a mini-garden with hanging baskets or window boxes. Create a mobile planter by planting flowers in the basket of a child’s bicycle or in a wheelbarrow, which can be taken indoors after business hours. Think of a planting theme which will suit the nature of your business (such as your logo). 
Categories include business and residential, community efforts, apartment blocks and condominiums, and business improvement zone.
Anyone wishing to enter their property (or nominate a neighbour) can enter in-store at the Service Desk of Winnipeg locations of The Home Depot, call the Take Pride Winnipeg! office at 204-956-7590 or enter online at . 
Entries will be accepted until July 12. Judging and photography occur July 15 to 31. 
All entrants will receive invitations to the awards celebration in August, where winners will be announced. The awards celebration also includes a visual presentation of all properties, as well as door prizes. Prizes include gift cards and merchandise provided by The Home Depot.
Since the beginning, Winnipeg REALTORS® has been actively involved in supporting Winnipeg in Bloom. A special award is being presented by the REALTORS® in the previous winner residential category, consisting of first place winners in each area from 2011 and 2012.
For those interested in touring the properties entered, a list of entries (addresses only, not names) will be available on Take Pride Winnipeg!'s website, by July 22.  A list of the winning properties will be available on the website by August 30. Check out Take Pride’s Facebook page for selected photos, as well.
Do you have a passion for gardening and an interest in volunteering to be a judge for Winnipeg in Bloom ? Applications are being accepted. 
Contact Carrie, community relations co-ordinator, at to become a volunteer judge.