The Canadian Garden Council and Vesey’s Bulbs donate 150,000 tulip bulbs across the country
Cabri School and the Cabri Community Garden were joint winners of the Canadian Garden Council’s “Celebration Garden” contest.
Earlier in the year the two organizations applied to the contest to receive 1,000 tulip bulbs for a special garden to commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday.
The two organizations in Cabri will be sharing the 1,000 bulbs – 500 each – which consist of 500 red impression and 500 white hakuun tulip bulbs.
Winners were chosen by a committee of judges chosen by the Canadian Garden Council who looked at a list of criteria each applicant had to meet.
Each applicant had to explain how gardens are an important part of their community, how the “Celebration Garden” will contribute to the town or community’s celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday as well as explain the planned future for that garden.
“We want each of the gardens to have a legacy as the 150th garden,” said Michel Gauthier, executive director of the Canadian Garden Council.
Part of the requirements for the winner was to involve the community, particularly the youth and the seniors in the area. According to Debbie Thomas, principal of Cabri School, that requirement will be easily done.
“We have sent out newsletters that are being sent out to the community inviting them to help us plant. We’ve also sent out notifications to the seniors as well,” explained Thomas adding the children at the school will at the very least be involved with the planting at the school.
The tulips, which have already been received, will be planted in a garden in front of the school as well as at the at the town’s community garden.
Leanne White, a teacher at Cabri School and a member of the Community Garden Association, found out about the project and ran with it.
“We didn’t think we had a hope of winning. When we found out a few days ago we were ecstatic,” said Thomas.
Cabri is one of 150 communities across the country to receive the special garden. In Saskatchewan there were only four communities and organizations chosen for the honour.
The Cabri Community Garden had their planting ceremony on Sept. 25. Cabri School has their planting ceremony for the afternoon of Oct. 5.
The Canadian Garden Council had 400 applications come in for the contest, more than they expected to get.
“We thought maybe if we were lucky we’d get around 300 applications from some of the provinces,” said Gauthier.
Those expectations were greatly exceeded when the council received applications from every province across Canada and from two of the territories.
Gauthier believes the amount of applications says something about gardens in Canada and what they mean to people.
“A garden has a place in our lives, culture and heritage,” said Gauthier.
In our history a garden, an edible one, was a necessity. Now gardens have become a symbol of who Canadians are.
“I think it is an interesting choice to make the Celebration Gardens tulip gardens. By using tulips it shows our history and our friendliness,” Gauthier said.
The tulip was brought to Canada after World War II by the Netherlands as a sign of gratitude and friendship after Canada aided the Dutch Royal family as well as helped put an end to the Nazi occupation of the country during the war.
A blooming ceremony will be planned for the spring when the flowers begin to open.
“I think the spring event will be a bigger event than the planting one. But who knows, maybe people really like to plant flowers,” said Thomas.