As winter rages outside, a pair of Sarnia gardeners are working seven days a week to ensure Sarnia looks terrific year round. Thousands of seeds, seedlings and cuttings are nurtured into an award-winning palette of floral beauty.
Gardeners Jane Bastien and Lance Allin are cultivating the stock at three greenhouses, including Germain Park, where tropical plants are kept for indoor and outdoor locations.
“We like to have unusual varieties to keep the public interested,” Bastien said. “There’s botanical thought behind it. One of the Communities in Bloom judges looks forward to coming back every year because he never knows what he’ll discover.”
Some cities contract out the work, but Sarnia’s gardeners grow all their own plants, favouring biological methods of controlling garden pests. In mid-April, four seasonal workers will begin the task of preparing beds and planting them across the city. Places to keep an eye on are Centennial Park and adjoining spaces, city hall, Canatara Park, Lawrence House, Germain Park and the Sarnia 402 Highway entrance sign.
– Glenn Ogilvie