Barriere was blooming this summer.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, residents and businesses stepped up to plant flowers and vegetables as part of the annual Barriere Blooms. The theme this year was ‘Victory Gardens,’ and residents had from May until late July to bring their plots to life.
Among the participants were cousins Madison,11, Nick, 9 and Ella Wittner, 2 and Mazey Munro, 10, who tied with Angela Rutschke for 1st place in the Best Kids Victory Gardens. The cousins planted flowers, tomatoes and broccoli – although it was eaten by the deer – outside their great-grandmother’s apartment building.
Their grandmother, Shirley Wittner, whose daughter babysat the kids, suggested the project as a fun thing for them to do this summer. They didn’t realize until they started planting, however, how dismal the soil was and had to haul in more dirt. They plan to bring in more soil next spring.
“When we saw it come out we thought it was a good thing for them to do during COVID,” Wittner said. “It was a good experience for them. It looks much nicer than it did before.”
Coun. Donna Kibble, chair of Barriere Blooms, said while the event looked a little different than in previous years, the pandemic didn’t hinder the community spirit. Three businesses competed in the business section, two in the kids and eight in the residential contest. The six Barriere councillors also participated by planting lots in the park. Coun. Rob Kerslake won the council event.
Interior Savings Credit Union took home first place for Best Business Victory Garden, while Ellen Monteith was first for Best Residential Victory Garden, followed by Bev Botkin in second place.
“It’s just to encourage people to beautify the community,” Kibble said.
On behalf of Council, staff and everyone that calls Barriere home, Kibble wanted to thank everyone who participated in the annual challenge. Besides brightening up the town, she said gardeners were able to share their tips and tricks as well as creativity and passion for gardening on the Barriere Blooms Facebook page.