So long and thanks for the flowers

Trent Ernst, Editor

The Tumbler Ridge Garden club is handing in its spades.

The group, which was never a registered society, was started in 2002 by a group of residents, including Ellen

Hartford Gardens, named after Janet Hartford.

Hartford Gardens, named after Janet Hartford.

Sager and the late Janet Hartford.

The group received $3000 to create and maintain flower gardens in the empty lot in front of the caboose.

The agreement was that the Garden Club would buy the flowers each year, plant them, water and weed them and take care of the gardens. The District was to take care of the grass, specifically to mow it. However, lack of volunteers mean the club can no longer keep going.

This does not affect the Community Garden, a separate entity, which looks after the Community Garden near the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery.

After Janet Hartford passed away, the gardens were renamed Hartford Gardens.

The members of the Garden Club were never involved in fundraising. The gardens were funded by Janet and George Hartford until they moved away, then by members of the Garden Club, primarily president Ellen Sager. Dr. Helm has donated $100 for flowers for the children’s beds and $100 for flowers for the caboose for many years.

And Sager organized garden tours for many years. “I toured the town looking for beautiful gardens and there have been a lot of them,” she says. “However, not everyone wanted people wandering through their yard. I usually was able to get about 15 gardens and for many years we had a contest for the three top gardens.”

Sager also used to write an article about gardening in the newspaper each month to encourage participation in gardening in Tumbler Ridge.

Each year, Mrs. Tobin’s kindergarten class plants flowers in one of the raised beds.

Sager wrote a letter advising Council of the club’s dissolution last week. She also asked if Public works would maintain the gardens, including having the kindergarten children plant flowers in the beds at the end of May or the beginning of June each year.

There have been many persons who have volunteered over the last 14 years, says Sager, and she recognizes all. “But certainly to Nellie Meredith and Celine Paradis for the many hours they have volunteered over recent years.

“I am the only one that was there at the beginning and now at the end. All good things must come to an end.”

The District will look after the area for the season, but is actively looking for other groups to take on responsibility for the garden.

Note: A note was just passed to me, thanking Maureen Sywolos for all her hard work, too.