As I write this, we are in the middle of a winter blast of snow and freezing rain but trust me Spring is on its way! In less than 30 days it will be officially spring and our neighbourhoods will be blooming.
Many years ago, we did a project with our friend and garden guru, Candy Venning. She purchased 2000 spring bulbs through Hamilton Community Foundation; daffodils, tulips and crocus and we gave them away to neighbours and friends, planted them in gardens and abandoned spaces and GALA BLOOMS began.
One of those spaces was the newly formed Birch Avenue Greenspace, a neglected Hydro Right-of-Way adopted by GALA that ran from Barton Street to Princess along Birch Avenue. Over the years, we’ve added gardens, planted more bulbs and introduced native plants, benches and artwork to create a vibrant and colourful community space that even hosts a Little Free Library.
This past summer we added 500 more bulbs bringing the total planted here to over 3000 and hundreds of pollinator plants, some shared by neighbours, to build up the five gardens. Our grant from Keep Hamilton Clean and Green even allowed us to have a garage door mural installed by our local artist Laurie Kallis. (insert garage door photo).
One of the most exciting things to happen was the installation of an official gateway sign courtesy of our Adopt-a-Park champion and an official name; The Birch Avenue Park. We’re looking forward to all of the spring blooms and invite you to bring your family for a picnic or lead your school class on a learning adventure to teach them about the role native plants and flowers play in building our environment. (insert park sign)
In total, between Birch Avenue and Wentworth Avenue GALA has planted or supported 15 pollinator gardens. Some are small and some are larger but one thing they have in common is weeds! We are looking for people to join our Garden Club to keep these gardens looking beautiful and making GALA BLOOM! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.