The Silver City was glistening and fragrant with blooms as two international judges for the Community in Bloom (CiB) competition arrived to begin a tour of Trail on Thursday.
Robert Ivison, from England, and Alain Cappelle, from Belgium, have been to Canada for five previous CiB competitions, but this was the first time either judge has travelled to Trail, and both were impressed by the city’s natural environment.
“It is a beautiful area and we are enjoying the scenery and wildlife, it’s wonderful,” said Ivison.
Ivison is a leading consultant for the development and management of parks and open spaces in England, and has been judging internationally for years.
Cappelle has a degree in landscape and garden architecture and runs a landscaping planning office in the town of Nieuwpoort (Belgium) with a team of six gardeners.
“The city is fascinating, especially the scenery and landscape,” he said.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was hosted by Trail’s CiB committee in Gyro Park last night, followed by a walk along the “Avenue of the Clans,” this year’s theme which celebrates Trail’s Scottish heritage, located on the park’s walkway.
The rest of the CiB tour will highlight the continuous work on the White Garden, (a re-creation of the Sissinghurst Castle Garden in England), located at the end of the Esplanade, a new garden at the top of Glover Road that features a rock wall, a new playground in Sunningdale, and interpretive signage that explains the significance of Trail’s historical murals.
In addition to colour and texture in gardens, the trend of sustainability is an aspect to the competition that both judges look for.
“We look to see how people are adapting to climate change,” said Ivison.
“And how they are reducing the demand on water consumption and other finite resources,” he said.
“The CiB program is not just about flowers in bloom, there is a lot more to it than that.”
The final results from the judging will be announced in October.