Trail’s avid gardeners tipped a glass and cut into cake to celebrate another year of beautifying the city, one garden at a time.
The serene backdrop of a cascading fountain and fragrant blossoms in the Colombo Piazza provided an intimate back drop for Trail in Bloom (TiB) to present top honours to this year’s participants in its 2013 annual garden contest, Tuesday night.
Connie Smith and partner Arlene Chapman, were surprised to win the first-time entry award and first place for Teck’s best residential garden award.
“This is a surprise because a month ago we had a water main break,” said Chapman.
Chapman and Smith were hesitant to enter the contest for the first time after their backyard was turned upside down by a back hoe to repair the water and sewer lines.
“Annette (Gallatin, TiB chair) came by and said ‘yes, you must enter the contest,’” explained Chapman. “So we replanted everything and here we are.”
Chapman has always been a gardener but full time work held her back from delving fully into puttering in the yard.
Now retired, she has time to pursue her passion of raising roses, and is very keen on nurturing the fragrant bloom, year-round.
“We like to putter, look at the colour and enjoy the scents in our garden,” she said.
Smith has a long history of manicuring yards, beginning in childhood, when her daily chores included mowing and pruning the empty lots of her father’s trailer park in New Mexico.
“You would think having to mow and water lawns for all those years when it was 100 degrees outside would make me not like it,” said Smith.
“But that was my start and it turns out that I am very interested in gardens and want our yard to look very tidy.”
Smith is the designer of the elaborate and plentiful array of flowers, plants and whimsy in their East Trail home, although both women tend to their yard for hours each day.
“Nothing happens without hard work,” chuckled Smith.
Smith and Chapman have taken a keen interest in sustainable gardening because they like to travel, and their research into drought tolerant plants has been put into practise on their front yard boulevard.
Their rock work design and hardy plants look pleasing to the eye without requiring regular watering.
“The plants need to be cut back in the fall and composted,” said Smith.
“But nothing will be damaged by winter snowplowing and will grow again next year.”
Greater Trail residents have an opportunity to stroll through Trail’s finest back yards on July 27 during a walking tour.
Maps for “The Garden Tour” will be available by donation at Ferraro Foods in downtown Trail on July 24 through July 26.
“You can pick and choose what you would like to see but I suggest taking the afternoon to see them all,” said Annette Gallatin, TiB Chair.
In addition, tickets to Teck’s Mad Hatter tea party from noon until 2 p.m. in the garden at Teck’s Guest House on July 27 are on sale now at Century 21, Kootenay Homes Inc., and Columbia Valley Greenhouses.
Trail in Bloom 2013 Garden Contest Winners
First Time EntryConnie Smith/Arlene Chapman
Rose GardenGeorge/Mary Pettigrew
Stratas, PatiosLana Rodlie
Garden ArchitectureMario/Alba Vellutini
Beds &BordersAl/Annette Gallatin
Curb Appeal (Commercial)Keystone Appraisals
Teck’s Best Residential Garden AwardConnie Smith/Arlene Chapma