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Photo By Carol Randall

Spring Fever Fit By Brian Parker CSLA, APALA


he melting snow sets many a gardener’s heart pounding as they pour through coloured catalogues of seeds and plants, looking for that special addition to their landscape. And like many of us, they end up picking something that as much as it is desired, it just doesn’t fit. Why? As a landscape architect I have spent years designing a wide variety of landscapes, from residential to institutional and anything in between. One of the most common errors in planting design is the location of plants. This is actually an over simplification. It is more a question of finding what plant fits best where. Fit? What does that mean? Actually, it can mean a number of things. It can refer to the appropriateness of the chosen plant from an aesthetic sense…it can mean that the size or shape of the plant is incorrect for the space or it can be related to time…not selecting for future growth or desired function. The following guidelines will hopefully assist you in your plant selection decision. These are not rigid rules, more a common sense approach to making your garden beautiful and functional. 1) Do your homework: It is easy look at glossy colour images of plants and neglect to read the text below it. Read the text. Many plants have good descriptions of their ultimate size and shape. If the description seems vague consult a number of sources as you will find, depending on where the information originates, that descriptions of size and hardiness will vary from “expert” to “expert”. If a tree description says it will be 20 metre (65 foot) high with a 10 metre (33 foot) spread…then assume it could get that large. Also consider whether the plant is native to your area or not…if not, the ultimate size could vary considerably. 2) Form: People seem to forget that plants, like people, have distinctive forms. Standard descriptions are round, oval, pyramidal, upright, spreading, narrow, vase and columnar…to mention a few common ones. Be aware that these usually refer to the mature plant. Plants often display juvenile forms or a combination of these forms until they mature. Again…do the homework on how the plant wants to grow and pick a plant that will display the traits you want to see. Also be aware that some trees and shrubs do not lend themselves to pruning very well. If they outgrow their space a “haircut” can sometimes result in a very ugly representation of what you thought was an attractive plant. Check pruning requirements of your choice.

3) Sunlight vs Shade: Again…check the requirements of the plant and what your yard space can offer…some demand more sunlight than others, some will tolerate (not necessarily love ….just tolerate) shade. What else is going on in the space that will impact the future of the space, e.g. other trees, buildings? Very few plants thrive in a deep shade…often made more inhospitable by extreme dryness as well. If no sunlight penetrates to the ground assume you have deep shade and select accordingly. Trees like Norway Maple create incredibly hostile environments below their canopy due to shallow roots, dark and dry. This creates an environment that is very difficult to establish other plants in. If you have such a situation your alternative is to try and amend the soil (difficult with the roots), use mulch and water the understory plants. This also helps the Norway Maple grow more vigorously. Word of not plant Norway Maples! 4) Conifer vs Deciduous: I know it’s not a competition but the choosing between one or the other is an important consideration. Evergreens tend to grow more slowly until established and have the benefit of being a year round plant. Unfortunately they can also become huge plants that can not only screen out unsightly views but block good views and sunlight. Choose carefully and locate in an area with sufficient space for mature size. If needing pruning the process for many types is simple but timing is important if you want to make sure you don't create or leave holes in the plant. Conifer can acidify the surrounding areas with needle litter. This can create a no grow zone for some plants but can be good for Rhododendron which appreciate acid soils. Deciduous plants can have open or closed canopies creating different levels of shade...consider what type of shade you want. Most deciduous plants drop their leaves though a few species retain the dead leaves until the following spring, e.g. Red Oak. Deciduous trees will provide summer shade (cooling) and allow winter sun (warmth) if located properly. 5) Lifecycle: Some plants just don't live that long or look their best in old age....consider how long your plant will live when you locate it. If it is going to be around for 100 years you should consider what might be going on in the surrounding area before committing a 30 metre high tree to a tiny backyard. Some plants will quickly fill their space and functionality in a few years...others may not look their best for decades....are you the patient type...again...consider how long you want to wait for that perfect specimen. These above suggestions will at least have you thinking about your future selection. Once you have made your choice what next? The following is a brief outline of what you should consider after the planting.

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...continued from page 4 Maintenance: There is no such thing as “No Maintenance”. This is something we often neglect and because we assume the plants “just grow” we don't have to do anything. Research whether your plant choice is high or low in maintenance requirements and select according to your time and abilities. Maintenance begins by preparing a proper size hole with the best topsoil and amendments you can get. Bonemeal, blood meal, compost, slow release fertilizers...a few soil amendments that can be put in the soil mix. Investigate, research and use appropriately. Annual maintenance of a tree or shrub (and perennials to a lesser level) generally includes some or all of the following; a. Mulching: Helps keep the root zone cool and moist. Use well shredded bark mulch, black is the best colour option or dark natural version. Apply only 75mm (3 inches). Professionally we do not use a filter fabric/weed mat between the soil and mulch as research and practical experience show no benefit. b. Pruning (usually after flowering) but remember to check you plant's requirements. Some plants have specific pruning times to ensure that flower buds can form for the next season. As some plants flower in the fall or later in the season you should not try to prune everything you have on a single day. Pruning should be used to rejuvenate flowering shrubs i.e. removing older wood so that newer wood can replace it. This is important for shrubs like Lilacs that often decline in flowering as they grow because they flower on newer wood. c. Fertilizing Schedule: Spring, summer and fall. Again... different plants have different requirements...too much fertilizer is a bad thing. Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K) is the basic components of off the shelf fertilizers. Research is starting to reverse long held myths on what is actually required and more and more fertilizers are available that are phosphate free. It has been found that the addition of phosphate to the soil can often do more harm than good and is generally not required in a good soil. If your soil is good to begin with the use of fertilizers should be infrequent. d. Water: It may seem obvious but sometimes plants don't get the water they need when they need it. Well established plants should not need a lot of additional water if weather patterns are normal and provide rain at regular intervals. Plants need water most during the early establishment period after planting as new roots cannot provide enough water for growing leaves. Water newly planted specimens frequently for the first few dependent, so that their soil does not dry out. Water beneath large trees if plantings are present. Conifers often benefit from a good watering in the fall to help them through the winter as they do not completely go dormant. In this area fall rains usually provide sufficient moisture but if you have a newly planted cedar or yew hedge it can certainly benefit it with a watering. I hope this article has given you the confidence to get out and find that special plant for your garden. If you have any questions please contact the editor. Take care.

The Many Benefits of Massage Therapy By Beth Pond RMT Franchise Co-owner Massage Addict Fredericton


assage Therapy is more commonly used in today’s society than ever before. If you are suffering from pain in your joints and muscles, massage therapy can help relax the tight muscle tissue, and help your joints move more freely, but there are other benefits too. When you come in for your appointment from the busyness of your day, your body is operating with the sympathetic nervous system, which is what allows you to react to all of the days stresses. This is also known as the “fight and flight” nervous system, when you have a massage that switch is turned to the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the “rest and digest “nervous system. This is what provides the feeling of complete relaxation.

Some of the other benefits of a massage therapy session, are detoxification. The therapist is continuously pushing lymph and blood in the direction of blood vessels in your body that encourage detoxification. A specialty of most therapists, is pregnancy massage. Massage therapy while you are pregnant is a great way to alleviate pain and tension in your joints while your body changes to accommodate your newest addition. At Massage Addict we have specific pregnancy tables that allow a pregnant woman to lay on her abdomen until she is 7 months pregnant. There are some amazing results when massage therapy is used with individuals that are affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The endorphin release experienced during a massage therapy session, helps to alleviate anxiety and tension that is felt by those suffering with PTSD, and in most cases, can help with establishing a regular sleep cycle, which is one of the major factors with PTSD.



e would like to thank Trina MacDonald, General Manager of Business Fredericton North, for inviting us to participate in this inaugural issue of “Your Northside.” These are exciting times on Fredericton’s Northside, especially in the Main Street area, and as members of the Main Street Urban Design Plan project team we would like to take this opportunity to provide you with an update on this very important and timely project. Business Fredericton North and the City of Fredericton have partnered in the preparation of an Urban Design Plan for the Main Street Area that will guide the municipality as well as the local business improvement area, represented by Business Fredericton North, in the alignment of resources to invest in those initiatives that provide the greatest community benefit with the highest return on investment. The last Urban Design Plan for Main Street was prepared in 1988 and is now long in the tooth and needs to be reviewed and updated. The scope of the Urban Design Plan for Main Street will include: reviewing the land use pattern, building design, sidewalk design, the pedestrian environment, parking lot and public open space design. All of the various aspects of the public and private realm will be reviewed and analysed to show how they are interconnected.

Figure 1. Example of a potential mix-use residential development on Main Street.

The consultant that is undertaking this project on behalf of the Board of Directors of Business Fredericton North and the City of Fredericton, is the Glenn Group. One of the key aspects of this project, and one that is essential to its success, is the stakeholder and public consultation process. If you have not had a chance to provide input into the Main Street Urban Design Plan, we strongly encourage you to do so, after all, it’s “Your Main Street”.

Figure 2. Pedestrian Amenity Area Concept for Main Street.

For more information on the Main Street Urban Design Plan and how you can participate in this process, please visit: street plan. Meredith Gilbert, MCIP, AICP Senior Planner, City of Fredericton

Juan Estepa, CSLA, ASLA, CNU-A Manager of Heritage and Urban Design, City of Fredericton

Contact Bill MacDonald of True North Marketing at 450-5072 to advertise in next issue.

Family Fun at the Ducks Unlimited Conservation Centre


s you head up the path toward the large gray building at 752 Union Street, it’s easy to be calmed by its natural setting. The building is quiet, and surrounded by leafy trees and winding pathways, with a breathtaking view of the river. Upon opening the big green door, though, you’ll hear the ring of young voices and shouts of delight. A young girl pulls on her mother’s skirt, telling her about a bug with long legs that she saw under a microscope. A smiling young lady wearing a nametag that says “Sarah” explains to the pair that the insect with the long legs sticking out is a water strider, and also points out a freshwater snail next to it. The Ducks Unlimited Conservation Centre (DUCC) is much like wetlands themselves – there’s a lot more under the surface than one would ever guess. “The DUCC is such a wonderful place for families to visit,” says Sarah Green, education specialist for Ducks Unlimited in Atlantic Canada. “Being a mom, I know how hard it is to find ways to keep kids busy and entertained. We have so many neat displays and activities for all ages and in all seasons – it’s a great place for families to drop by and have some fun.” Opened in 1996, the DUCC provides an exciting and educational environment for visitors both young and old, as they learn about the values of wetlands, both to wildlife and to society. The friendly staff and volunteers are happy to share their knowledge about wetlands, the wonders that reside in them, and how we can all be better stewards to these special places. The Ducks Unlimited Conservation Centre is open year round (excluding holidays): Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. There is no entry fee to visit the centre. Hands-on educational programming for school and community groups is also available. The DUCC is also available to be rented for weddings and meetings. For more information, or to obtain quotes for educational programming or facility rental, contact us at 458-8848 or visit our Facebook page at

Fredericton to Ignite Entrepreneurs


gnite Fredericton (formerly Enterprise Fredericton) was officially launched March 20, 2014 -- revealing its new mandate, brand, mission and private sector investment (PSI) initiative. Through the Vision 2020 Economic Development Strategy process, the municipalities of Fredericton, Oromocto and New Maryland reinvested and re-engineered Enterprise Fredericton with a new mandate of implementing the Vision 2020 Strategy. This was based on consultations with 250 community stakeholders and business people, who validated the need for general business counselling and a single point of contact for entrepreneurship support. Since Vision 2020, Ignite Fredericton has been laser-focused on creating a one-stop-shop service model, launching Planet Hatch, developing a private sector investment initiative and renaming & branding the new organization. This of course was done while conducting ongoing business counselling and immigration support.

Ignite Fredericton’s core functions include: - Supporting entrepreneurs to help businesses START, GROW or LOCATE in the Greater Fredericton region - Attracting & retaining talent through Immigration - Strengthening the economic development ecosystem through strategic partnerships and initiatives The new brand and name, Ignite Fredericton, is fresh and invigorating. It supports the Mission: “Fuelling Entrepreneurs for Economic Growth” and the Vision: “Startup Capital of Canada”, and distinguishes Ignite Fredericton as the ‘go-to’ place to access entrepreneurship support. During the Vision 2020 consultation process, Economist David Campbell, tested the community’s appetite to financially support its local economic development organization – similar to the models of Moncton, Saint John and Halifax. The feedback received was positive in support of a private sector investment model. As such, Ignite Fredericton launched its private sector investment (PSI) initiative to raise $500,000 in support of increasing its capacity and resources as well as fuelling the commercialization centre, Planet Hatch. For more information about Ignite Fredericton, please visit: or call 444.4686.

Contact Bill MacDonald of True North Marketing at 450-5072 to advertise in next issue.

Elbridge Wilkins by Gloria Ingram Photos by Ross Ingram


f anyone can claim to be a lifelong resident of Fredericton’s Northside, it’s Elbridge Wilkins. He’s been a resident of what is now the city of Fredericton since the age of one. The oldest of eight children he was born on March 23rd, 1927, in Cardigan. His parents, John and Fanny, moved to Nashwaaksis (population 500) when John got a job driving a taxi for the Windsor Hotel and then decided to get into farming. To most of his generation he was, and is, known as “Fibber” Wilkins. It was a nickname that one would think would be a hazard in the field of politics, but it turned out it wasn’t, as he went on to find considerable success in that field of endeavour. Once explained, it had nothing to do with dishonesty. He started at the age of 14 working with his father and found he loved farming. One of his chores as a 12-year-old was milking Lloyd Johnston’s old Jersey cow named Molly. The top-running radio show in those days was called Fibber McGee and Molly which led to his schoolmates referring to him as “Fibber.” He eventually bought the farm on Sunset Drive from his father and farmed it for 19 years. Sunset Drive was a street of farms in those days. They were long days, he recalls, particularly at haying time. They began at 5 a.m. and lasted until the job was done even if it was well into the evening.

At 87, Elbridge Wilkins reminisces on a lifetime of service including what he terms the most satisfying of his efforts, his career in municipal politics.

The farm also supported a dairy herd which he sold in 1960 when he ventured into another career. The next 30 years would see him involved in building houses, apartment buildings and service stations – all of them on the northside of the city.

Municipal politics

His third career and an enjoyable one, he says, was politics. It began with the York County Council when county councils were part of the provincial political scene. Counties disappeared as political entities under Premier Louis Robichaud’s Program of Equal Opportunity and, to Elbridge’s great delight the former York Home for the aged and indigent, under the aegis of the provincial government became York Manor and more recently the York Care Centre, the largest home for seniors in the province of New Brunswick. He was on council for eight years in the Village of Nashwaaksis, was deputy mayor under Ralph Gill and was elected mayor of the village, a term that lasted just one year before the village was amalgamated into the city of Fredericton in 1973.

Elbridge Wilkins is enjoying life in retirement. He spends a lot of time in his sunroom overlooking the Saint John River and reflecting on the progress and changes he has seen in the Fredericton area.

Fredericton’s mayor

After amalgamation Wilkins went on to become mayor of the city of Fredericton for 12 years. He says the highlight of his mayoralty was the construction of the Westmorland Street Bridge which opened in 1981. Only those who had struggled their way back and forth for years in the early morning and suppertime traffic on the old narrow, two-lane Carleton Street bridge will truly understand what a positive difference this bridge made for Northside residents. “The Ring Road came at the right time,” he says. “Otherwise the traffic caused by the amazing expansion here on the Northside just wouldn’t be manageable.’’ And he has high praise for the present mayor of Fredericton – “a great mayor and a great politician,” he says. He and his late wife Barbara met Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on two occasions and also Prince Charles and Prince Andrew. The Queen expressed her thanks for Fredericton’s hospitality by sending the mayor a letter of thanks and a tie. “Not that I didn’t have enough ties,” he says, “ but I decided not to send this one back.”


He’s been retired since 1992 and says he thoroughly enjoys his relaxed lifestyle. He and Barbara Craigs of Oromocto were married in 1948 and had two daughters, a family that grew to include four grandchildren and two great-grandsons. Barbara passed away in 2013. He enjoys his computer and going to Frank’s Finer Diner every morning to discuss the affairs of the world with 15 to 20 other retirees who call themselves the Romeos. “We discuss just about everything in those long discussions we have at Franks,” he says. And he continues, tongue firmly in cheek, “Put us all together and we have a lot of expertise. If people from the government would listen to us, the country would be run the right way.” “Put us all together and we have a lot of expertise. If people from the government would listen to us, the country would be run the right way.”

The Mitch Clarke Nasis’ Park by Trina MacDonald General Manager Business Fredericton North Inc.


s Fredericton moves into spring and then summer, so will the Mitch Clarke Nasis’ Park. Business Fredericton North has been working toward the completion of this year round recreation facility on the site of the old Nashwaaksis Arena since 2009, when the original conceptual designs were created. Since that time, BFN has developed fantastic partnerships with all levels of government, local businesses and private citizens to ensure funding was secured and the construction could be completed. In December 2013, the final components of the winter construction was completed and the ice plant, which kept the outdoor ice surface frozen regardless of weather conditions, was turned on and became operational. The outdoor rink was a crown jewel on the Northside providing families, seniors and youth with a fantastic ice surface for public skating and hockey until mid-March 2014. In the coming weeks the public will see this community facility evolve and come back to life with recreation opportunities as the summer components of the park are completed. The main pad will transform into a court for both basketball and ball hockey. The secondary pad on the site will see the largest transformation. A skateboard park has always been planned for this pad and in the spring of 2014 the City of Fredericton will be adding concrete ramps and grind rails to the skateboard pad. This will provide skateboarding enthusiasts with a centralized location to enjoy their sport and offer another recreational option at this universal outdoor facility. In addition, a multi-purpose fitness station was installed at the park late last fall and now offers the public an outdoor option for a fitness workout.

This location has traditionally been the hub of recreational activities in Nashwaaksis and with common vision it is once again. BFN and all those who have partnered with us to see this new year round facility a reality are pleased to be able to say, “Fredericton….Enjoy your new park!”.

Your Northside - 2014 Spring Edition  
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