By Stephen Dafoe
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Morinville – The third annual Best Garden Competition wrapped up this morning with judges viewing the handiwork of seven local gardeners, competing in four separate categories.
As has been the case in previous years, there was no shortage of horticultural creativity in the front and back yards of Morinville homes.
For Donald Fairweather, the Town of Morinville’s resident horticulturalist, judging the annual competition was a rewarding experience.
“We’ve seen some interesting designs, some wonderful colour,” Fairweather said after judging the last competitor Aug. 11. “Some people put a lot of effort into maintaining their gardens.”
For fellow judge Lorraine Girard, a member of the Morinville Garden Club, the hard work and effort of the competitors did not make her task of picking a clear winner any easier.
“It’s really, really hard to judge,” she said. “We have it [the scoring] down on paper but, really, everyone’s a winner.”
But while the judges may have felt everyone was deserving of an award, the victor was determined by just how many points the judges awarded them for their gardening efforts.
In the curb appeal category, Stuart and Nadine Trenchard of Grandin Drive took the top spot with a total of 182 points. Betty and Peter Larsen took second place with 168 points for their 101 Ave. front yard.
The Outdoor Living Award was presented to the Larsens for their mixture of plants and places to relax. The Larsens took top spot with 176 points, followed in second spot by Anne Stalzer of 106 Ave. with 158 points.
But what Stalzer may have lacked in outdoor living points, she more than made up for with her perennials garden. Stalzer was the clear winner with 182 points, followed by Lucy Cholik who took second place with 170 points for her 86 St. perennial garden.
Cholik and Stalzer switched places in the unique container category with Cholik earning 146 points to Stalzer’s 138.
In addition to the bragging rights, the Trenchards and Larsens will each receive $100 gift certificates from the Morinville Greenhouses. Cholik and Stalzer will each receive $50 certificates.
Morinville’s Recreational and Cultural Coordinator Melonie Dziwenka was pleased that the competition drew more competitors this year than in 2009.
“My thing was growth,” she said. “Next year, if we can encourage even neighbours to nominate, then I think you will see a continued growth.”
The recreational coordinator said she believed a sense of modesty may be keeping some gardeners from entering the competition.
“It’s tough to nominate yourself,” Dziwenka said, adding that although she would have difficulty nominating herself, she felt self-nomination only showed the potential competitor’s sense of community spirit and that they take pride in their gardens and in beautifying their community.
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