The flowers have been judged, the votes have been tallied and it’s official: Waterdown has a spirit of whimsy.
The 7th annual Roots for the Waterdown Blooms contest brought out some pretty steep competition but the winner was clear: Let’s Landscape Together took home Gold in the expert panel and also took People’s Choice.
“There were a number of local landscapers who kindly agreed to help us with some of our beautification efforts and every year a group of them have been returning,” said Susan Pennie, executive director of the Waterdown BIA.
On Thurs., Sept. 6, the expert panel made up of Garden Writer Rob Howard, Karen Brunsch, Trilliam Awards Program co-ordinator for Flamborough Horticultural Society, Ward 15 Coun. Judi Partridge, and Jon Peter, curator and manager of Plant Records at Royal Botanical Gardens, came out and looked at each of the 10 gardens (two of the gardens were managed by Flamborough Horticultural Society) for their creativity, maintenance and their “Touch of Whimsy.”
“I’m hoping to see interesting selection of plant material, you know, not the run-of-the-mill everyday stuff,” said Peter the day of the judging.
According to Partridge, the program itself shows off community pride.
“It challenges everyone to have some diversity in their gardens which just adds to the community over all.”
Along with Let’s Landscape, this year’s contenders also included Buist Landscaping, Gelderman Landscape Services, Lynden Lawn Care, Meadowbrook Landscaping, The Gardener Landscaping, the Terrain Group Inc., and Wilbrinks LAWNscaping to put their best garden forward.
The judges were not only looking for creativity in the presentations but also the use of different “enhancements” such as stonework or woodwork — anything that would set the presentations apart.
The two locations, on Hamilton Street North and Dundas Street East, gave residents a chance to see colour and life when coming into town and when they are out walking around.
Howard said the effort made from the community to keep up the spirit and charm through the beautification amazed him.
“I’m really blown away by how much Waterdown is doing in terms of creating another image of itself as a gardening community,” he said.
“I think this idea of having these beds is fantastic, I think some of them look great,” Howard added, noting for next year, he would like to see sponsors ensure when they take part in the program, they keep up with maintenance throughout the season.
The results, which were released on Mon. Sept. 10, saw Lynden Lawn Care take silver and honourable mention went to Buist Landscaping. People’s Choice honorable mention went to Gelderman Landscape Services.
According to Peter, the gardens on Dundas Street East were in better shape and healthier and he attributed that to a few reasons. Hamilton Street had a lot of shade and weeds while the gardens on Dundas had more sun.
He added even though there was heavy traffic that passes by the gardens, it may have helped.
“I think it has a lot to do with the annuals, it has a lot to do the sun exposure another thing in air circulation, so you could say that this flow of traffic could help the air circulation around the plants,” he said.
This year’s gardens reflected what whimsy invokes: bright colours, curving pathways and trees that look like they come out of Dr. Seuss’s imagination were all on display.
“For us to have organizations and businesses within the community that are so willing and enthusiastic to help us enhance the beautification of the community, it’s wonderful for us,” said Pennie.