Ashcroft Communities in Bloom members Ina Gory and Paulette Thille help witth the annual plant swap.

Ashcroft blooms under CiB’s constant care

Ashcroft CiB members are busy planting public gardens, educating the school children and keeping the town tidy.

Whew! What a week it has been for Ashcroft Communities in Bloom members.

Members attended Ashcroft Elementary School for a planting project with Ms. Megan Marlow’s Grade 1 class on May 7. This project has been done very successfully for several years now. A big thank you to the School District #74 maintenance department, who ensures that two garden beds are well tilled and watered in readiness for planting. With direction from Communities in Bloom members, the students plant a variety of sunflower seeds in one bed and potatoes in the other. The potatoes are grown under a thick layer of straw and are harvested in September. Thank you to Desert Hills Ranch for the donation of seed potatoes and to Pacific Substrate for the donation of the straw.

May 13th was a particularly busy day that saw CiB members planting daylilies in a newly refurbished garden area in Heritage Park. An unsightly patch of lawn with overgrown roses at the north entrance of the park, has been transformed into a lovely focal point. The new garden bed showcases the daylily, Ashcroft’s official flower, which are complimented by burgundy barberries and crisp rock overlay. Easy to care for and conservative in water consumption, this bed is a perfect fit for our arid climate.

In the early evening, CiB members, with assistance from several community members, planted over 60 barrels and several planters in the downtown core. Thank you to the Ashcroft Fire Department, whose members watered all the barrels in preparation for planting. Thanks to the commitment of our CiB members, together with the willing cooperation of our local businesses, fire department and Village workers, the downtown core really does “bloom.”

The following day, Communities in Bloom members attended Ashcroft Elementary School once again, this time to lead a project with Ms. Charlee Marlow’s Grade 4/5 class. With this project, the students learn about tomatoes, how to plant them and how they grow. With assistance from CiB members, the students transplant tomato plants from four-inch pots into two-gallon pots. Many of the students have never had an opportunity to plant anything, so this is a whole new learning adventure for them. At the end of the day the students are excited to take their potted tomato plants home. The tomatoes are a patio variety, so students are able to continue to grow them in the pots or transplant them into their home garden if they have one. Students from previous years who have had the opportunity to take part in this project are always excited to tell CiB members how their tomatoes grew and how they enjoyed eating the fruit they produced. Once again a thank you to Desert Hills Ranch who donated the two gallon pots for the transplanting of the tomatoes.

Ashcroft Communities in Bloom will be competing once again this year in the National Communities in Bloom Competition. We are entered in the “Class of Champions” division for our population category. As the name suggests, this category is for those communities who have previously won the National competition for their population class, so we are up against some stiff competition. We will be welcoming the judges to Ashcroft on July 24. The Communities in Bloom program is about making your community “bloom” in all ways; with the growing of flowers just one of eight categories we are judged on. Thank you to all the members of our community who strive to make Ashcroft a better place to live!  We are always looking for new members, and, contrary to what many think, you do not have to be a gardener to join.

Andrea Walker

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