Some yards entered in the Best Yards competition of the Bentley Fair horticulture section were so different this year the judge had trouble classifying them.
The eventual overall Best Dressed Whole Yard Award went to the yard of Gary and Laurene Sargeant.
“It is a project (continually) in the works,” Laurene Sargeant says, admitting it has taken 13 years to get it all to this stage. “The yard work is my relaxation. I love dirt.”
Two years ago they won Best Dressed Front Yard. After almost finishing the backyard over the past four years she decided to enter the whole yard competition this year.
“I never water my flowerbeds — only the pots,” adding she doesn’t fertilize the flowerbeds either, only the pots the first of June, July, and August.
There are two pond areas — one in the front yard and one in the back. There is no grass in the backyard at all and she uses anything and everything as planting pots. Sargeant estimates almost 100 solar lights are spread throughout.
Many different sections all seem to blend well together into a massive rainbow of colors with interesting planters and embellishments collected and purchased from a variety of places. Even the fencing is has been hand-built from castaways from Gary’s workplace.
Refuse cans in the back alley even stand in their own bed made from Laurene’s old baby crib.
The wide open spaces with the view across a playground and to the south toward the Blindman Valley is as close to country life as you can get and still have neighbors close on both sides for help, she explains.
She still has one more major project in mind for the centre of the backyard. “That could start this fall or next spring. (Meanwhile) there are lots of things that are movable so they can be changed around.”
Other major winners in the horticulture section of the fair included: Best Town Front Yard – Niel Rietema, and Best Town Back Yard – Ken and Sharon Ebl.
Janet Southgate won judge’s choice Best Flower of Show with her lily, and third for her tribute to the Royal Purple floral arrangement.
Best Rose belonged to Dell Collins.
Best Rhubarb was entered by Carol Landon.
Sandy Turnbull won seconds for her basket arrangements, Tribute to the Rodeo, Tribute to the Farmer’s Market, and for her floral table centerpiece.
Horticulture convener Dorothy Sherwood noted entries overall were down significantly this year and partially attributed it to the wet, cool year. “People had trouble getting into their yards and gardens this year,” she said. She is hopeful next year will be a better growing year and the number of entries in the fair will bounce back.