Fernie in Bloom August 16, 2012Posted by admin in : News , trackback
Growing up in Fernie lush gardens were commonplace. Everyone grew vegetables in the back yard and people like my father rented space from the City’s empty lots to augment their own property to grow even more potatoes, carrots, beans and peas. On the corner of Third Avenue and 13th Street the entire back yard was filled by tall blooms of gladiola resplendent in every colour imaginable. Mr. Sawyer, the owner and gardener won awards each year for those beautiful blooms. Back in that day Fernie held an annual competition where people brought their best offerings to be judged.
This year a competition was organized by the Fernie Chamber of Commerce. Manager Sarah Parry says that the “Chamber working with the City’s Decorations committee and sponsored by the Free Press and supported by the Fernie Garden Centre is committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community participation and the challenge of a competition”.
I was one of the four people chosen for the difficult task of judging the 19 entrants. It’s amazing to discover what lovely gardens people have behind their homes. There were six categories with specific criteria for marking. For instance color scheme, number of plants, suitability for the location, special features, good quality, cultivation and maintenance, mulching, use of pollinators, compost heaps, minimising demand placed on natural resources and any harmful impact on the environment.
Andrea, Marie, Coco and I had a full day of exploring gardens some as different as night and day and so difficult to place in the same categories. A couple in the airport area had a root cellar in their back yard to store vegetables over the winter and a wonderful array of plants in neat rows. I haven’t seen a garden like that since my father passed away I commented to the owner.
Parry says the spirit of the community involvement is what achieves great rewards”. I agree, we checked out fantastic floral plantings in bright colours on business fronts all over town and on the Ski Hill. Regardless of the short planting season it really makes a difference to our town to have flower displays that enhance the gorgeous natural surroundings we are so fortunate to live in. It really does foster civic pride to have visitors admire the hanging baskets downtown that add so much colour to the street.
Colourful blooms make people feel happy and it increases their positive experience of the visit. I want to commend the many businesses and homes that have participated this year. I hope that people will be encouraged by those that entered the competition. I believe each one of those that did deserves to be recognized not only for their beautiful yards and gardens but for contributing to the beautification of our town. Congratulations to those that were chosen as winners and congratulations to everyone who entered.
That evening I was invited by MP David Wilks to meet a delegation of Korean government people. Mr. Chae, chair person of the Wonju City council, Mr. Park, vice-mayor of Wonju, Mr. Jeong, Public relations office, Mr.Kim, tourism disvision, Mr. Leen tourism division and interpreter and coordinator from the public relations office Eun-Suk Jeong.
This group was in BC to discuss twinning with Cranbrook and also to meet dignitaries and visit the region. They were very engaging although not fluent in English. It was obvious that most understood a lot of the language although reluctant to speak for fear of pronouncing the words incorrectly. It was very interesting to see photos of the size of and elaborate office space the vice-mayor had.
Through thee interpreter the Chairperson also explained the differences between City Council there and here. They have a chairperson, a mayor, vice-mayor and councilors. Each one of them has an office with a chauffeur. I leaned over to Mayor McKerracher to joke that I thought we were living in the wrong country and looked up to see that the chairperson was smiling at my words. It was a great evening interacting with this group, at the end of it we were invited to visit Korea. I imagine they will be back to Fernie way before I get to Korea but then again one never knows where life will take you.