By Nikki Jamieson
The Taber and District Communities in Bloom Society is taking up a notch as they go all out in red and white for Canada’s Big Day this year.
To start off with, last fall they planted 20 Canada 150th tulips around Taber, which feature a red pattern on a white petal. These tulips were created by the National Capital Commission (NCC) in partnership with Kingdom of the Netherlands, the national CIB and Home Hardware — the exclusive retailer for the tulip bulb and nation sponsor for the national CIB — for the event.
And it’s not just tulips that will be white and red — the society has plans to only plant red and white annuals and perennials this year. There is also plans to install a metal maple leaf in Confederation Park, and they want to plant a maple tree there as well. The garden by the police station will also be revamped, and this year will feature a lot of red and white petunias, planted in the shape of the Canadian flag.
“That should look good for the 150th birthday,” said Jean Holman, president of the Taber CIB.
Apart from the Canada 150th projects, CIB has a few murals planned for downtown, with the first almost ready to go just as soon as the weather turns nicer. They will also be giving the north side of 50th Ave, from Highway 83 to the hospital, a facelift, updating the nondescript side with gravel with some plants going in, in order to keep it low maintenance for the town.
“It’s something that has been on the mayor’s bucket list, and it is a main entrance into town,” said Holman. “It could just use a little help. It looks really good on the south side of the avenue, but the north is town property, and it just needs to be fixed, be done.”
Holman is proud of all the entries they received during last year’s yard contests for Taber and the rural beautification contest for the Municipal District of Taber, and will be continuing with that this year, with a cut-off date of Monday, July 17, for entries. They will be adding to their Christmas lights throughout the town this year, and they will be continuing their Christmas lights contest this year, after having received a lot of entries when they launched it last year.
“We light up the trees at the police station, and we look after, we install the lights on the trees at the cenotaph, and they need to be added to. We also do the lighting at the pool and Confederation Park.”
One thing they are looking forward to, is for the town to put up some special signage for CIB’s big win last year. Last year, CIB received a coveted five-bloom rating for their work in beautifying the town, and were even offered to join the national CIB competition. However, they felt they weren’t quite ready for that yet.
“We were invited to compete nationally, but we don’t feel we’re ready for that. In order to compete on a national level, you actually have to win the provincial (level) first, and then the provincial organization nominates you for the national competition,” said Holman. “But we feel we have a lot more things we want to do before we do that.”
One thing that won’t be taking place this year is the spring clean-up. While one is expected to be held later in the summer, the town is being kept so clean lately that they don’t feel that there is a need to hold their annual one in the fall.
“The town is being kept so clean that we don’t pick up near the litter that we did, even a few years ago. The town’s public works are just doing a wonderful job, and obviously, people are too. Because it seems that the cleaner a place is, the more everyone wants to keep their place clean, and the more flowers they see, it makes them want to plant flowers. We’ve noticed there’s a lot more flowers and nice landscaping around town.”
The harsh winter shouldn’t have affected their plants in any way, as perennials can withstand cold temperatures in the winter and their annuals are grown in greenhouses. But while everyone was grumbling about digging their cars out from under the snow, it was actually better for the trees.
“Last winter, we had almost no snow, and I think the trees really suffered. They need that winter snow just to have a reserve of moisture in the ground.”
In addition to the planned maple tree they are planting, CIB is also discussing possibly planting more trees in Taber with the town’s recreation department.
CIB is also selling equinox self-watering planters, at a cost to themselves. The society is encouraging people to buy them because most of the planters only need watering once a week due to reservoirs at the bottom of the planters. Because the Taber area gets a lot of wind and sun throughout the summer months, plants need a lot of water.
New members are always welcome. For more information about CIB project, visit their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Taber-Communities-in-Bloom-481082052017866/.