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Some spring gardening tips from Amherst's horticulturalist

Amherst Recreation
Amherst Recreation - Contributed

What's up rec? with Chelsea Baird

May flowers are among us! We are sure that you can agree with us, that it is nice to see the sun shining, and the temperature rising into the double digits. The spring rains, followed by a few sunny days, sure have greened things up. Lots of trees are in flower with leaves about to unfurl and the tulip buds are bursting.

Spring Gardening Tips

Spring flowering shrubs such as forsythia, lilacs, and deutzias can be pruned back by one-third, once they finish putting on their beautiful spring floral displays.

The time is now to get our hands dirty, by digging deep into the soil, dividing perennials, and adding compost and fertilizer into the flowerbeds and on turf to help promote healthy soil which in turn will lead to healthier roots and overall stronger and healthier plant growth this season.

Communities in Bloom

Did you know that in 2018, Amherst was involved in the provincial edition of Communities in Bloom and received four out five blooms?

Communities in Bloom is a Canadian nonprofit organization, committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility, and beautification through community participation, with a strong focus on enhancing green spaces within communities. It was stablished in 1995, with 29 Canadian communities and has grown to improve the quality of life in hundreds of participating communities through its provincial and national editions.

The Town of Amherst has been and continues to be one of those communities, who has been actively involved within Communities in Bloom. After a short break from competition, last year Amherst joined back into the provincial edition. The return of the program in 2018 was a great success, which saw Communities in Bloom judge, Judith Cabrita, award Amherst with four out of five blooms. Amherst was evaluated on a criteria-based system as outlined by Communities in Bloom. The areas of evaluation were: Tidiness, Environmental action, Heritage conversation, Urban forestry, Landscape and Floral displays.

In 2018, the committee presented civic awards to several residents who were recognized for their conscientious effort, to not only enhance their personal properties but also their hard work and dedication towards helping to enhance their neighbourhoods, and their overall community. In 2019, the Communities in Bloom Amherst committee will continue to recognize residents, and will also seek to award businesses for their efforts to enhance Amherst.

Communities in Bloom Amherst will host an open public meeting on Wednesday, May 15 at 7 p.m., at the Community Credit Union Business Innovation Centre at 5 Ratchford St. The committee would like to invite any and all who are interested in learning more about Communities in Bloom and those who are interested in making Amherst a better place to live, work, and play to attend and share with us in what, we, and you, can do to help keep Amherst clean and beautiful.

Parks and Facilities

After a busy and exciting Fred Page Cup event, the ice is now out of the Amherst Stadium and Amherst Recreation will be busy spring cleaning within our many parks, greenspaces, and throughout our gardens.

Our seasonal parks students are now on board and are ready to lead our community by example through hard work and a little elbow grease to help create a cleaner, tidier and overall healthier Amherst. Students can be seen this week picking up litter off of our streets, in our brooks and ditches, and within our parks. Feel free to give them a honk, or wave, and let them know their hard work is appreciated!

As we continue to carry out our routine spring maintenance within our parks and our facilities, we kindly ask that you please bare with us, as we carry out this necessary work.

you should happen to notice areas requiring attention, please kindly forward your concerns or comments to amherstrecreation@amherst.ca or call 902-667-6500. There are so many great opportunities to get outdoors and be active within our community and we hope you will take full advantage of all the great parks and facilities that are open for your use.

Learn what is happening around the community by visiting amherst.ca for our free community events listing and follow us on Facebook and twitter.

If you have questions, community events and information to share, email amherstrecreation@amherst.ca or call 902-667-6500. Here is a taste of what’s happening around Amherst:

Amherst Famers Market, 9 Electric St., Amherst Lions Club: Friday, May 17: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cumberland County Museum Plant Sale, 150 Church St: Saturday, May 18: 8 a.m. to noon

Big Block Party Dayle’s Grand Market, 129 Victoria St. E.: Saturday, May 18: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Beginner Line Dancing, YMCA, 92 Church St.: Wednesday, May 22: 11 a.m. to noon.

Chelsea Baird is the horticulturalist for the Town of Amherst.

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