Local gardeners recognized for helping to beautify local community

·3 min read

Communities in Bloom and Scott’s Canada are recognizing outstanding lawns and gardens that are beautifying the local community.

The programs, being separate recognitions, saw locals nominated to win a Miracle Gro package from Scott’s Canada and entered into a draw for one of five $100 prizes from Communities in Bloom.

Strathmore’s Communities in Bloom Chair, Rob Pirie, said there have been over 40 yards nominated through the programs by people throughout the local community. For a first time for each of the programs, he said it’s a positive amount of engagement.

“The focus of Communities in Bloom is to try to, if you look at what our development is, is the whole idea behind active citizenship, [and] getting people participating in their community,” he said. “This is a way of recognizing that some people simply beautify the community by looking after their yard.”

The program from Scott’s was something that Communities in Bloom had to apply for and was sponsored for six packages to be awarded locally. It was organized by the national Communities in Bloom program.

The local program recognized five gardens based on three categories. These being blooms, water use, and growing food. The prizes for which will be handed out later this month.

“It was great that Scott’s Canada did this with their Miracle Gro products, and people seem happy with the prize and I think people always enjoy being recognized for their hard work,” he said.

Janet Bolinger, who was one of the recipients of a Scott’s package, said she takes to gardening for the pleasure of the hobby and enjoys the creativity of putting a garden together.

“I’ve always just ended up fixing up yards wherever we’ve lived. It’s nice to start with a new yard and just work around everything,” said Bolinger. “Just being creative and enjoying things growing … it’s just something that gives me peace.”

Bolinger said she plans to use her package next season to plant a variety of both perennial and annual plants to fill out her garden.

“Over a period of time, you add and change things and some things die out, and some mature,” she said. “It’s nice to try different things but I’m not as adventurous as I used to be.”

Rena Campbell, another Scott’s recipient, said she has been gardening since childhood – something she often did with her mother and grandmother. For her, the majority of her garden she has grown straight from the seed.

“It’s therapeutic. It’s lovely to just get your hands dirty in the soil, and it’s wonderful to watch things grow,” said Campbell “I find that it’s calming, like when you walk into a yard with lots of plants and flowers … I feel like I help the bees a bit … all that good stuff.”

Most of the plants Campbell grows are similar to what might have been grown in a Victorian cottage garden. She said the plants she gravitated towards are generally easy to grow and very hardy.

“I use a lot of heirloom seeds, and like I say, most of the plants in my yard are either 20 years old or [grown] from seeds I’ve saved,” she said.

Pirie added returning the program from Communities in Bloom next season is something that will be discussed, but nothing is yet set in stone.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times

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