Cache Creek’s first “Adopt a Planter” program drew near its finish on Sept. 16, when two “celebrity” judges — Clinton Mayor Susan Swan and Ashcroft Mayor Barbara Roden — accompanied CAO Damian Couture on a tour of the 30 (plus one) village planters that were adopted by local residents or organizations, and awarded prizes in four (plus one) categories.
The village announced the program in March, and all 30 of the planters were adopted by the Victoria Day long weekend. There were no restrictions on what the eager green thumbs could plant, although everyone was encouraged to plant at least one sunflower, the village’s official flower. Participants were able to submit receipts for their plants after they had finished planting, and receive gift certificates for one of the area businesses that sells plants and flowers (Horsting’s, Desert Hills, and Ashcroft Home Hardware).
While 20 of the planters were on a village irrigation system, 10 had to be hand-watered, adding an extra challenge. Couture says that a few issues with the irrigation system were noted: “We hope to have the vast majority solved by next year by the use of new timers and new lines in a lot of the planters.”
Signs were added to each planter to show who had adopted it, although they were removed before the judging on Sept. 16. While many of the planters featured flowers only, some also contained fruit and vegetables: strawberry plants, tomatoes, squash, green beans, and peppers were spotted. Sunflowers ranged from dwarf to towering, and came in the familiar bright yellow as well as in orange.
After touring the planters, the judges awarded prizes in four categories:
“Best Use of Theme” (sunflowers) to Sandra Talarico and Pam Beckett for their planter (the middle one of five) outside Chum’s Restaurant.
“Most Creative” to the Green Thumb Team, for their whimsical planter near the Riverside Motel which featured (amongst other things) painted stone ladybugs that passers-by could take.
“Best Overall” to Judy Roy in memory of her husband Ben Roy, outside the Cariboo Clear building.
“Most Diverse” to the Coyote Valley/Horsting’s planter, second one in from the west outside Chum’s Restaurant.
During the tour, the judges were shown a 31st planter outside Canada’s Best Value Motel that had been missed from the initial list, and not assigned to anyone. Nevertheless, it was noted that an anonymous person or persons had weeded it and planted it with flowers, and the judges decided to award an Honourable Mention to whoever had maintained it, in recognition of their community service. “We’re actively looking for the person who did it, because we’d like to say thank you,” says Couture.
After the judging, a luncheon was held at the Cache Creek hall for the participants, and small plaques were awarded to the winners. The “Best Overall” and “Best Theme” winners will also be immortalized on two large plaques that will be on display in the village office.
After speaking with those present, the village has decided to host an online survey to allow everyone to judge their favourite planter for the “People’s Choice” award. Go to https://surveymonkey.com/r/adoptaplanter2022peopleschoice, where you can see pictures of all the planters and vote for your favourite before Oct. 4.
“We think the event went very well,” says Couture. “It wasn’t without hiccups, but we’re soliciting feedback from the participants and residents.
“We’re also looking for next year’s theme, so if anyone has any ideas we’re happy to hear from them.”