Beautifying Blackburn

By Miriam Hampson

Communities like Blackburn Hamlet are fortunate to have an incredible legacy of wonderful volunteers who help enrich our neighborhood in so many ways. Recently, I took a moment to read previous issues of the BANAR on the BCA website. These past BANAR articles were full of history and interesting Blackburn activities dating back to 1967! It was truly amazing to read about all the past work of dedicated volunteers and of their incredible contributions to our community.

For the past two years, the BCA’s beautification goals have focused on beautifying the entry points to our community by establishing gardens at our gateway signs, and by the art installation structure at the four corners. These four gardens have been watered and cared for throughout the spring, summer and fall months by volunteers. This was no small feat. Water is not accessible near these gardens which makes it difficult to maintain the gardens. Volunteers were assigned to water daily for five to six weeks of the schedule, collect large enough containers to hold the water, and carry these water jugs to the garden locations. I would like to thank the 2022 watering team: Erik Leicht, Tammy Bedard, Monica DeRomer, Christine Varley, Karen Barrington and Os Hoch, Christina McNiven, Pierre-Luc Scott, Heather McCuaig Edge, Don Kelly, Margery Thomas, Dana Brown, Richard Manicom, and Esther Cormier. I would also like to thank the BCA and Friends of Mer Bleue for their  monetary support to help purchase the plants and materials for these gardens.

Another beautification objective this year was to revive the Garden Tour. This event was held over two days in July and it attracted over a hundred visitors from various parts of the city to have some fun, learn more about gardening, and support a good cause: Over $1,100 was donated to the local food bank here in Blackburn from this event. It was a terrific way to see the beautiful work of the many gardeners in our community and at the same time, raise money for a worthy local cause. I would like to acknowledge the following gardeners for sharing their gorgeous gardens: Jean Clark and Jean Moreau, John and Gloria Peddie, Bin Gravelle, Wilbrod Le Clerc, Fred and Sue Ellis, Eric Snow, Isobel Hubble, Sarah Walsh, Richard and Yvonne Hayter, Louise, Joe Potter, Johanna Barefoot, Diane Arseneault, Cliff Seibel, Lorna Mwikalo, Cynthia Hoisak (for also spearheading this wonderful garden tour event this year) and to Lino Demasi for creating a virtual map for our garden visitors.

Lastly, in keeping with the garden theme, a photo contest, Blackburn in Bloom, was organized to allow Blackburn residents an opportunity to showcase their own gardens through social media. Thank you to Jen Read who kindly accepted to organize the event and to our winning participants for their lovely floral photo submissions: Pierre Lacroix (1st place), Sarah Howlett (2nd place), and Julie Linton (3rd place).

Our beautification goals next year include encouraging our local businesses to beautify the front of their shops along the business strips with floral arrangements. Thank you to Hair Alive and to the Blackburn Arms who voluntarily spruced up the front of their establishments this summer with beautiful planters.

If you are interested in helping beautify our community, please contact or join one of our monthly BCA meetings.

Blackburn in Bloom

1st place Blackburn in Bloom – Pierre Lacroix

Blackburn in Bloom
2nd place Blackburn in Bloom – Sarah Howlett

Blackburn in Bloom

3rd place Blackburn in Bloom – Julie Linton

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