The Prescott Journal - September 3, 2003
By Astrid Strader, Project Supervisor, Horticulturist, and Garden Designer
Congratulations to all the gardeners who participated in Prescott's first garden competition. Typically, the end of August can leave gardens looking tired. However, the judges commented on innovative plantings, bittersweet vines tumbling over an arbor, a drop-dead gorgeous trumpet vine none of us had seen the likes of before. Even a dragonfly made from a handrail and porcelain door knobs - folk art! The judges had the best views of the entire event and came away refreshed with new ideas.
Prize packages, donated by Canadian Tire valuing $500, featured a new three-wheel style wheel barrel containing a collection of fall mums for first prize. Other prizes were stainless steel tools with wooden handles, large tool totes, pruners and a fall flowering hanging basket.
Cutting the suspense, here are the winners of best home gardens: Sandra and Barry McIntosh of 122 North Channel Road win first; second goes to Barbara and Dave Martin of 520 Henry Street West; third goes to April and Derek VanSchie of 633 Royal Place. A very close third and therefore gets "runner-up" is Rosemary Spencer of 989 Massie Drive. Vince and Glenna Bonneau of 315 McAuley Road wins best container garden. Best business garden goes to O'Reilly's Your Independent Grocer with special recognition to Lilly Patenaude and John Dyks for doing such excellent maintenance - those Hwy 401 Prescott signs are not easily accessed.
Thanks to all the judges, Heather Primeau, Kerlyn Snelling, and Inge Van Stralen for generously giving their time. Inge enthusiastically admitted, she couldn't just look at the front yards only, "if the front yards looked this great, what must the backyards be like!"
We all learned a lot from this exercise. Now's the time to organize a group of interested people to help plan an official entry in Prescott Communities in Bloom competition.
Quoting from their Showcase Magazine, "Communities in Bloom is a non-profit Canadian organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community participation and the challenge of a friendly competition. National beautification programs have, for decades, flourished in European countries, including England, France and Ireland, and were the inspiration for Communities in Bloom." I think this program can help our community strive to improve the visual appeal of all our neighborhoods - the parks, open spaces and streets, resulting in an improved quality of life.
The competition has many categories to consider - what fun! Inge Van Stralen, garden centre manager for Canadian Tire, has volunteered to lead an interested group to help organize for next year. Canadian Tire is also a corporate sponsor and has a lot of support available. If you're interested or you are curious and would like more information, call her at Canadian Tire at 925-4217 and also see the Web site at www.CommunitiesInBloom.ca.