Carol Couture’s garden

Communities in Bloom judges put local gardens to the test

A long-time Campbell River resident and avid gardener has the honour of boasting the best overall garden in the city.

A long-time Campbell River resident and avid gardener has the honour of boasting the best overall garden in the city.

Carol Couture, who won the award, was just one of the winners of the fifth annual Garden Contest that was part of the Communities in Bloom national judges’ orientation.

Both adjudicators were impressed by Couture’s work of art.

“This is a truly amazing mature collection of trees, shrubs, and flowers in a park-like setting nestled along the Quinsam River. The property invites and envelopes one in a series of beautiful serene rooms with connecting pathways, a prolific shade garden and a beautiful pond.”

When she’s not gardening, Couture runs the local Adopt-a-Highway and the Beautification Programs.

Other winners were announced during a reception at the Museum at Campbell River on July 21. Attended by nearly 100 people, the winners were treated to an Oscar-like event that included presentations of prizes and pictures of their award-winning gardens by our Garden Contest judges.

“Despite the late summer, standards were high this year, and it was really difficult to pick our award winners,” said event organizers Susan McEwen and Stacey Larsen.

One of the stand-out moments in this year’s contest was the winning entry in the community garden half-plot category.

The Carihi High Tyees, a group of special needs students, applied the principles of math and geometry to lay out their plot in precise squares.

The students topped this impressive feat and demonstrated true community citizenship by donating all of their produce to the food bank.

The judging criteria in the contest included design, plant material, hardscaping and overall impression.

Specifics such as zero mile diet, heritage elements in the garden, wildlife trees, plants that support the butterfly and bird population were also judged important.

Environmental stewardship and “green” gardening criteria such as composting and water conservation were incorporated into the evaluation of every garden this year.