Where were the gardeners?


Harry Hutchison

Harry Hutchison

The decorations were delightful. Hanging paper Chinese lanterns, butterflies, big artificial flowers, cutout colorful umbrellas, and greenery adorned the inside of the Bentley Community Hall. Tables draped in vivid summer colors were highlighted by brilliant table decorations. Bright balloons hung from the outside staircase. The amazing job done by Vera Boettger and her daughter and some others had people in awe as they entered the building.

Library society members had supplied all kinds of snacks and goodies, including homemade baking. Shiny teacups and teapots were abundant.

More than 50 silent auction items were donated from at least 44 businesses and individuals from the Bentley, Rimbey, Lacombe, Gull Lake and Red Deer areas, with set up done by some library board members, were displayed around the circumference of the hall, ready for the auction action, offering something of interest for everyone.

The guest speakers were prepared. Al Rennie from Parkland Nurseries had all the answers to yard and garden planning and plant care. Holly Waldron from Holly’s Greenhouse had a treasure trove of plants for sale in the parking lot. Many people were interested in the presentation put on by Harry Hutchison, assisted by wife Georgina, about how to build your own upside down planter and have strawberries or tomatoes coming out of the bottom while at the same time having flowers cover the top.

All the organizing and set-up had been done. Only one thing was missing — the people.

The Bentley Library Society is still wondering why there was such a low turnout for their third Gardener’s Gala on June 5.

Would a different time rather than Sunday afternoon be better? Was the price of admission at the door a deterrent? Did there need to be more/different advertising? Did the inclement rainy weather leading up to the event put a damper on those wanting to work in their yards and gardens?

Despite the modest attendance more than $1,200 was raised at the event, most on the sale of the auction items. Funds raised will go directly towards ongoing programs, including free programs for children up to seniors, and equipment for the Bentley Municipal Library.

All the work and preparation done by the numerous volunteers, and all the sponsorship from the generous donors, was greatly enjoyed and appreciated by those who did attend. Most attendees stayed the entire time for the whole program, gathering information from the presenters, visiting, snacking and enjoying tea, and waiting to see what auction item they would get to take home with them.

Maybe the word of how well supported and organized the event was and the value offered at it will get out and more will attend next year — if is again staged next year.