Trail Community in Bloom volunteers are gearing up for this year’s national competition. Trail will be competing in the medium category of Class of Champions – a competition for the best of the best.
This category is open to past winners – cities with populations under 50,000. Trail will be up against Beaumont, AB; Charlottetown, P.E.I.; and Castlegar (Trail won the international challenge last year and Castlegar won international the year before.)
Judges are Lorna McIlroy and Mauro Paradisi.
McIlroy is a teacher and horticulturalist from Grande Prairie, AB. Currently, she is president of the Alberta Horticultural Association and has been a judge with Communities in Bloom for the past 12 years. She has visited and judged Trail a number of times and always comments on all the changes she sees whenever she comes here.
Mauro Paradisi has worked as construction manager for the City of Avigliana, Turin, Italy, and is currently responsible for floral displays and garden maintenance there. He directed his city’s participation when Avigliana was named Italy’s Floral City in 2009. He has been a national judge for Italy’s Comuni Fioriti (equivalent to Canada’s CiB program) and has been a judge for Entente Florale since 2012.
The judges will be in Trail July 22 to 24.
“Our job this year is to convert the White Garden into a proper perennial English-style garden,” said CiB chair Dan Rodlie.
The White Garden is situated at the far end of the Esplanade in Jubilee Park, just off Helena Street. This past year, the garden was professionally designed by Chris Holt of Lakeside Landscapes.
“It’s taking time because a lot of the plants have been hard to find. Some of the specialty items have come from as far away as Prince Edward Island. It won’t be completed this year, but this is the first really good start. We hope it will be one of the best show gardens in the Kootenays when completed.”
Rodlie said eventually a map of the garden will be on display indicating what is planted there, with the common names of plants as well as their Latin names.
“We are also offering a sponsorship program. People who donate will have their name added to the map.”
A minimum donation of $50 will be required for recognition.
Besides the White Garden, Bill Garnett’s crew from Columbia Valley Greenhouses is busy planting the various show gardens around town and will be providing hanging baskets and large floral pots.
West Trail residents have worked hard at sprucing up B Street park, especially the “hidden” park between upper B Street and Glover Road. They planted tons of tulips for spring and have since added a number of dahlias.
“They’ve trimmed and cleaned up the walkway to the lower park and hope to make the park more usable,” Rodlie said.
Another major push is getting the town looking spic and span. The judges don’t look at just what the Community in Bloom committee does – they look at how the whole town participates.
“We could lose a lot of points on cleanup,” Rodlie said. “So please remove Christmas decorations and old signage, spruce up boulevards in front of your home and most important, get rid of weeds sticking out of sidewalk cracks.”
Adopt-a-Highway program is a good indication that people take pride in their community, he added.
Trail Rotary and Waneta Sunrise Rotary, along with the Kootenay Metis Society and Edible Landscapes remove litter from the highway through town and along the Gulch to Annable.
“We also have an Adopt-a-Stair program in which businesses and individuals have taken on the task of picking up garbage and keeping the covered stairs free of graffiti and debris.”
The Graffiti Grannies, a squad of volunteers, take pride in ridding public areas of ugly tagging.
The IncrEDIBLE Green Route is in full swing again this year, as are additions to the community garden on Rossland Avenue.
Also note that Trail in Bloom Garden Committee, sponsored by Teck, has taken a break from holding a garden contest this year but has organized a fantastic garden tour on Saturday, which will include gardens in Warfield and Rivervale.
“We just have to put our best foot forward. Every little bit counts.