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Wagons south of Barnwell

Posted on August 9, 2013 by Taber Times

Curtis Campbell has an old rustic wagon placed delicately in his front yard 4-and-a-half miles south of Barnwell. It used to be his dad’s wagon, used for hauling grain. The Campbell’s front yard is its final resting place, as it ages gracefully. Henka Campbell tends to her award-winning yard an hour to two hours each day. “I just mow the grass,” noted a modest Curt. The two retirees recently won the 2013 Communities in Bloom competition in the category of Division 1 —  Under 39 acres within the Municipal District of Taber.

Henka can’t pinpoint what stands out in her yard or what she is fond of more, as she is a fan of the whole kit and kaboodle. “I just enjoy being out here,” she said.

When the Campbell’s first arrived on the scene in 1975 there was nothing but a grain field for as far as the eye could see but that all changed when Henka, the green thumb gardener, went to work planting up a storm of beautiful fury. A house was built in 1982 and the Campbell’s sold the farm portion of their land in 1993. Curt joked they’re not just retired, they’re tired too.

Communities in Bloom reports the property has welcoming family dogs, curb appeal from the driveway, marigolds, daisies, asters, geraniums and a hedge of non-invasive lithrium. There are also spots to rest throughout the yard, a fireplace, a few ornaments, a vine reaching to the sky and an enclosed deck.

The colours red, orange, purple, pink and green compliment the lovely and elegant yard.

“The back yard wasn’t here until about ten years,” said Henka.

“This is part of our pride and joy.”

Henka said the enclosed deck is where the Campbell’s spend many hours of their day. “This is where we sit,” joked Henka. “It’s wonderful.”

According to Henka, families and friends enjoy being in the back yard. “There’s usually good food and good wine,” she added. Henka’s Dutch heritage is one of the reasons she seems to love gardens and yard beautification. “We’re all known for flowers in Holland and I love the flowers.”

Luckily this year, as hail storms and severe weather ravaged most of southern Alberta, the bad weather seemed to have missed the Campbell’s humble home and yard. But Curt mentioned last year was a different story with the yard taking a beating.

This year marks a first win for Henka and her flowers, gardens and yard. “This is awesome. I’m pretty thrilled,” said Henka.

Communities in Bloom is a committee that will work together with the businesses and citizens of Taber to make the town beautiful — making it a wonderful place to visit and live. Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program, with focus on enhancing green spaces in communities.

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