Main photo: Community members (from left) Joyce Insley, Star Swann, Denise Julian, Deb Ainger Steve Ainger, and Helen Bastedo plant perennials at Flag Park (Photo: Frank Bastedo)
Having lived by Huntsville’s Flag Park for years, Helen Bastedo loves seeing the beautiful annuals that grow there each summer.
The park, with its flag poles and surrounding garden, was built to commemorate the 2010 G8 Summit held in Huntsville.
This year, Bastedo and her husband, Frank, were puzzled when they noticed the Town hadn’t planted flowers, which she guessed was due to cutbacks as a result of COVID-19.
“In chatting with a neighbour about how we needed to divide up our perennials in our own gardens, I got to thinking that maybe we could round up enough plants to plant at the flags garden for free,” said Bastedo. “I also needed to know if the town could fit it into the watering schedule and budget to bring the water truck to the garden. Planting perennials this late into the growing season would mean that the transplants would need lots of water.”
Bastedo got in touch with the town and they were very quick to put her in touch with Trish Arlidge, who is in charge of horticulture for the Town of Huntsville.
“Trish was very helpful and, even with this year’s reduced budget and staff for gardens around town, prepared the gardens at the flags for planting,” said Bastedo. “She mentioned that members of the horticulture society in Huntsville had planted some of the other beds in town and that the town has agreed to water those plants too.”
After getting the okay from Arlidge, Bastedo sent an email to her neighbours on Silver Oaks Crescent, as well as friends of hers who also enjoy gardening. She asked if people would consider donating some of their perennials and by July 6 they had enough plants and volunteers—seven in total—to take on the project.
“Many hands made quick work of it and we soon had the garden filled,” she said. The donated plants included lily, phlox, and ornamental grass. “We had a good time seeing neighbours, staying physically distant while we worked but united in our attempt to help however we could during the time of COVID budget restraints. With lots of watering, and hopefully some good rain before too long, the perennials will look nice and the only cost for the Town will be the watering.”
Mayor Karin Terziano mentioned the group’s efforts in today’s general committee meeting during a good news recap. “[The plants are] a nice addition,” she told councillors. “That’s the kind of community we have.”
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