Planting a sea of red and white

A 150 Celebration Garden was awarded to the Intergenerational Garden in Maple Ridge for Canada's 150th birthday celebration.

Marg Spratt

A sea of red and white will wash over Maple Ridge’s Intergenerational Garden next spring in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday.

The garden was the recipient of one of 150 Celebration Gardens bulb packages being distributed across the country by the Canadian Garden Council, a body for provincial and national garden organizations.

The package was made up of 1,000 tulip bulbs, 500 red and 500 white, which have been planted by students and volunteers this month in the garden at the corner of Edge Street and 121Avenue.

“We were very happy to be chosen because they only chose 150 winners to tie in the 150 theme,” said garden coordinator Heather Jonatschick.

Winning applicants were evaluated on the inclusiveness of their gardens, accessibility to the public and how their Canada 150 garden would be recognized.

There were 400 applications.

Ten volunteers were in the local garden Saturday, planting 500 bulbs. They had to do a fall cleanup of the perennial beds in the front of the garden in order to fit the bulbs in.

Last week, 15 classes made up of 25 to 30 students each from Eric Langton elementary and St. Patrick’s School planted bulbs in the student plots. Each class has their own flower bed and every student got to plant a bulb.

The remaining five beds are community plots, which are rented out to various members of the community who apply to get a garden space.

“One of them has done a huge display in her bed of her own bulbs that are all going to be red and white,” said Jonatschick.

“So we will have [tulips] interspersed throughout the garden and the class beds and then we will have a nice display out front,” she added.

Tulips are the international symbol of friendship and speak to Canada’s kindness and hospitality.

All 150 gardens across the country will be symbolically linked to a Flagship 150th Celebration Garden Promenade, made up of 25,000 tulip bulbs located next  to Niagara Falls in Ontario.

The tulips being planted are a mid-bloom variety, meaning that they should be ready at the end of March or the beginning of April, providing the winter is not too harsh this year.

Jonatschick said tulips are also easy to grow.

“They need to be down at least three times the size of the height of the bulb. So, our tulips need to be planted six to eight inches below the ground level,” explained Jonatschick, adding that if they are not low enough, there are a couple of things that could happen to the flower.

“If we have a hard winter and there’s lots of freezing, they could freeze and not come up. Squirrels sometimes dig them up. And, the only other thing, I find, if you don’t do the right planting when they do grow, they tend to flop over a little easier,” said Jonatschick.

Senior volunteers are excited about being a part of the celebration and put up Canadian flags in the garden while planting on Saturday.

“It’s so significant because in such a special year. It brings us all back to remembering how important it is to celebrate who we are and the diversity in what we bring,” said Jonatschick.

Every garden that was the recipient of bulbs is required to hold a blooming ceremony.

Jonatschick is going to wait until February, when the bulbs are expected to start sprouting and poking through the soil, before she starts making plans for an official ceremony.

“We won’t pick a date until we make it through winter and we see how winter is,” said Jonatschick.

“It’s hard to plan in advance only because, if we have a long winter, they will bloom later,” she continued.

The ceremonies will take place on different dates across the country due to the different weather conditions and resulting bloom times.

The blooming ceremony will be considered a lead up event to both Earth Day and Canada Day.

The Intergenerational Garden will also be included on the Great Canadian Road Trip, a map of all the winning gardens across the country.

But the emphasis of the project is not strictly on the tulips. It has brought seniors together.

“Yesterday, it was so nice to see everyone having such a good time and that community spirit was there,” said Jonatschick.

“For us to have the seniors teaching the children about gardening and now also having them be a part of Canada’s birthday, it’s such a big celebration. It’s a day when everybody is proud to be Canadian. It’s so fantastic,” Jonatschick said.

The Pitt Meadows Community Garden also won a package of tulip bulbs.

• For a list of the winning gardens go to http://www.canadasgardenroute.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

An employee at the Pitt Meadows Superstore tested positive for COVID-19. (Black Press files)
Team member at Pitt Meadows Superstore tests positive for COVID-19

The person last worked a shift at the grocery store on Monday, Oct. 19

(Black Press Media files)
Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Katzie Seniors Network keeps elders informed on how to vote

Rides to polling stations hard to come by, but many long term care homes have stations set up within

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

file
One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Most Read