There were plants and gardeners galore at the Communities in Bloom plant swap in Ashcroft last month. Day lilies—Ashcroft’s official flower—proved very popular with the dozens of green thumbs in attendance.

There were plants and gardeners galore at the Communities in Bloom plant swap in Ashcroft last month. Day lilies—Ashcroft’s official flower—proved very popular with the dozens of green thumbs in attendance.

Communities in Bloom getting ready for summer

It's getting close to barrel-planting time downtown, and helpers are welcome.

Andrea Walker

The Communities in Bloom plant swap was a huge success this year, with many people going away with many new additions for their yards. Citizens were very generous with the plants they brought, and there was a very good selection of different plants, herbs, and shrubs. This is a major fundraiser for Communities in Bloom, and we thank the community for their support.

CiB members, along with volunteers from the community, will be busy with the barrels in the downtown core very soon. As the soil has settled in most barrels, fresh soil will be added, and on May 10 we will be planting all the flowers into the barrels. Should you wish to help we ask that you meet at the Ashcroft Bakery at 6:30 p.m. on May 10.

A new event for CiB this year will be the “barrel challenge”. This will see a Communities in Bloom member paired up with one of our councillors, the mayor, the chief administrative officer, and the fire chief. Each pair will determine what they would like to plant in their barrel (located in front of the Village office). This friendly challenge will be a lot of fun, and we will have our judges look at them and choose a favourite when they visit us on July 19.

With the new water bylaw coming into effect in Ashcroft on May 1, residents may be looking for different types of planters. Communities in Bloom is on board with water conservation, and to that end purchased “desert planters” a number of years ago. These planters can be seen in front of the Community Hall, and have performed beautifully for several years. They have a large reservoir in the bottom which only needs to be filled perhaps once a week, even in the hottest part of summer. Plants thrive particularly well, as the roots pull the water up from below. Not only does this save time as they don’t need to be watered each day, but it also saves on water, as there is far less evaporation.

We have found a very good source to purchase these planters. Although they’re not exactly like the ones at the Hall, they are made by the same company and are sold online from Costco and delivered right to your door. If you are interested in looking into these planters you can go to www.costco.ca and look up “94 L Round Self Watering Planter”. They’re a great idea if you come and go in the summer and still want your plants to survive and look lovely.

Communities in Bloom has a number of projects upcoming with the students at Desert Sands Community School and will report on them as they happen.

We are very excited about our 10th year anniversary project, which will be erected in the Heritage Park on Railway. Three large glass mosaic pieces of art are being worked on by volunteers, and hopefully will be installed by the end of June. They will be a wonderful addition to the Heritage Park and our downtown core.