North Delta residents will once again have the chance to show off their green thumbs — and maybe even win a prize — as part of the third annual Sunshine Hills Community Group Virtual Garden Show.
The event runs June 22-28, a few weeks later than in previous years, and is open to anyone living in the Sunshine Hills area (from 72nd Avenue to 56th Avenue and from Scott Road to Highway 91).
To participate, residents can submit up to three photos in any three of 13 categories either in the Sunshine Hills Garden Show Facebook group or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions will be accepted from June 22 to 26, with prizes awarded June 28. There will also be early bird prizes announced on the Facebook page.
Categories for this year’s show are: backyard oasis; birds, bees and bugs; container garden; evergreen delight; fairy gardens; favourite feature; flowers flowers (two prizes to be awarded); front yard landscaping; perennial gardens; upcycling garden ideas; vegetables – beginners (one to three years experience); vegetables – advanced (over three years experience); and youth (under 16 years old).
A panel of local judges — gardening enthusiast and event sponsor Rica VinLuan of Edward Jones, 2021 vegetables – advanced category winner Heather Neidig, avid gardener and artist Myrna Webster, garden hobbyist and event sponsor Alex Ovies of Natural Focus Foods, and long-time Sunshine Hills resident and devoted gardener Sharon Parker — will meet online June 27 to pick the winners, and a YouTube video will be created to view the entries all at once.
This is the third year organizer Sharon Poetker has put on the virtual garden show. The idea came about in the spring of 2020 after a neighbourhood barbecue being planned by a group of residents had to be cancelled due to the onset of COVID-19, forcing the group to pivot and find something that would work under pandemic-related gathering restrictions.
“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 told the Reporter last year.
“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.”
The first two events were a tremendous success, with 51 people of all ages submitting 135 pictures that first year, and 54 entries totalling 262 pictures in 2021.
“The goal was to share and foster a love of gardening in the community,” Poetker said in an update last week.
“Although the pandemic has subsided, we decided to continue to do the show virtually so as to be able to continue to include everyone.”
Thanks to a $405 Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Delta Community Foundation and generous donations by local businesses, Poetker was able to once again put together prize packages that include goods from several local artists and artisans, many of whom sell their wares through the North Delta Artisan & Gift Market (ndartmarket.ca), a group Poetker helped create in the fall of 2020 to support local crafters and small businesses impacted by pandemic-related closures and which has since grown to include 52 vendors. (The market will have also have a booth at the upcoming North Delta Family Day festival on June 19).
Each winning entry will receive a $25 gift certificate to Home Depot plus one of the following prizes: a $50 gift certificate from How Sweet it is Cakes, one of several mini floral oil paintings by Haike Tremblay Art, a flower/posy arrangement by LaBelle Fleur Floral Boutique, a $50 gift certificate to Browns (courtesy of Rica VinLuan/Edward Jones), one of two $50 Pepperoni Cafe gift cards from Darrell Poetker/Remax Performance Realty, a hand painted wine glass by Angela Suzanne Designs, an art print by Fine Lime Designs, handmade greeting cards by Donna Manery, a gardener’s basket by A Few of My Favourite Things, a gift bag of pork rub and sauces from Pork Mafia, or a $50 gift certificate from Natural Focus Foods.