A virtual garden show is giving Sunshine Hills residents the chance to show off their green thumbs — and maybe even win a prize.
This year’s Sunshine Hills Community Group Virtual Garden Show, which officially begins on Friday, May 28, is open to anyone living in the Sunshine Hills area of North Delta (from 72nd Avenue to 56th Avenue and from Scott Road to Highway 91).
Residents have until Friday, June 4 to join the Facebook group (facebook.com/groups/853989595190447) and post photos of their gardens in the relevant photo albums. Anyone not on Facebook or who is having problems uploading their entries can submit them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then, a panel of local judges — Tracy Bell (La Belle Fleur Floral Boutique), Heinz Kreutz (KeepSafe Systems), Silvia Mc (The Blacksmith Jeweller), artist Haike Tremblay, artist Lyn Verra-Lay, and neighbourhood residents Shannon Ayotte and May and Jason Cheek — will pick the winners on June 7.
This is the second year organizer Sharon Poetker has put on the show. The idea came about last spring when a group of residents were planning to host a barbecue for the neighbourhood but, due to COVID-19, had to find something else that would work under the pandemic-related restrictions on gatherings.
“My friend and I walk a lot and were commenting on the beautiful yards in the neighbourhood and there it was, the Virtual Garden Show idea,” Poetker said in a email to the Reporter.
“We thought it would be a nice way for people to connect by sharing a bit of themselves through their hobby and creativity, and we could do it virtually.”
In all, 51 people ranging from four to 85 years old participated in last year’s show, submitting 85 entries (135 pictures) between them.
This year, participants can submit up to three photos in any three of 13 categories: landscaping — novice (new to two years experience), landscaping — experienced/professional, backyard oasis — novice, backyard oasis — experienced, flowers flowers flowers (three prizes to be awarded), patio/container gardens, technical (lighting or water features), fairy garden (fairies, birdhouses and “special to you”), upcycling (unique uses of pre-used materials), grub farm (worst yard due to grub/mole attack), vegetable garden — novice, vegetable garden — experienced, and young gardeners (up to 18 years old, five prizes to be awarded).
Thanks to a Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Delta Foundation and a bevy of local sponsors, over $1,000 in prizes will be up for grabs this year, most valued about $45-50 apiece. Poetker purchased many of the prizes from local artisans and vendors, many of whom can be found selling their wares in an online marketplace (North Delta Artisan & Gift Market, ndartmarket.ca) that Poetker helped create to support local crafters and small businesses impacted by the pandemic-related closures craft fairs and the like over the past year.
Prizes this year include gift cards for La Belle Fleur Floral Boutique, Spektra Reflections of Home and Home Depot, art coasters by Wet Paint by Wendy, Back Porch Bees honey or hand salve, Twisted Lemon Herbal tea bath or lotion, Fine Lime Design greeting cards, garden journal sets from A Few of My Favourite Things, Norwex cleaning products, a flower felt pin by Something General Store, Inspiring Minds Promotions gift certificate, a wine set including a wine holder from D&B Crafts, a Running with Scissors garden sign and plant markers, a necklace by Kissing Hands Craft, “Birds” art print from Haike Tremblay and a Back Porch Bees candle, and a painted wine glass/wine set.
As well, the winning entries in the young gardeners category will receive a $20 Pepperoni Café gift card, and all entries will be entered in a draw for a two-foot-by-two-foot solid wood planter box by Homebody Wood Designs.