Roses are red and if you’re a garden nut this is the time of year to use the Green Thumb to show the community what you can do.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, APRIL 25, 2011 –  There are cat people, there are sports buffs; there are political whacko’s and then – there are gardeners. Those men and woman who spend hours in the garden cultivating, weeding, seeding and nurturing flowers and shrubs.

You see them every spring at the gardening shops buying flats of whatever they fancy. For most people just spending time in the garden is enough but there are others who take huge pride in their garden and they like the idea of having “the” best garden on the block. One can only imagine just how competitive this can get.

Thirty two years ago, in 1978, the city created what is known as the Civic Rose Award (CRA) that was given by a committee made up of the Burlington Parks and Recreation Department, the Burlington Horticultural Society and the Garden Club of Burlington. The City covered all costs of the CRA program.

About ten years ago, at the City’s suggestion, the CRA steering committee became independent of the city and took their direction from a board made up of the two horticultural societies, and the interested public. The CRA committee recruited some 13 sponsors from the community, each of which contribute about $300 annually and present specific awards in their name. The City of Burlington has been one of these sponsors, contributing the prestigious “Mayor’s Cup” and providing the committee with a city facility (for some years now the Tansley Woods Center’s large room) for its awards evening, which draws some two hundred attendees.

The “grant game” is going through a change at city hall and, as City Manager Roman Martiuk less than elegantly puts it – right now the policy on grants is to say No! – no to requests for grants and no, there isn’t a policy and if Council wants a policy all they have to do is ask city staff to develop one. But there are a couple of softies on this Council and they come up with ways to give in kind grants and waive the fee for space that is normally has a fee attached to it.

Thus the Civic Rose Association presented themselves at Council and prevailed upon city Council to waive the fee for the room at Tansley Hall and all was well with the people that run the association.

Mayor Rick Goldring, obviously not a gardener and still putting together a set of political skills, suggested that the top prize should be known as the “Burlington” Cup rather than the Mayor’s Cup. In time he will realize that the 200 gardeners who appear at the awards event have favour that is well worth winning.

Some might suggest that Burlington elected the Mayor they have – not quite true. They decided they did not want to Mayor they had and chose the best option. The current Mayor has their trust, their respect and to some degree their admiration for doing the job he has done so far. But that honeymoon is not going to last forever. At some point Goldring needs his own city wide base. But this is a story about gardens – and the Civic Rose Award brings out the very, very best in gardeners. Look at the Awards for 2010.

One of the advantages of a newspaper on a web site is that a story can be aslong as we want it to be – there are no space limitation – and we can put in as
many pictures as we wish. And so here you are – the winners of the 2010 Civic Rose Awards, along with an application form to be entered into the 2011

We’ve not indicated which zone a winning garden was in or who won the other prizes – that was last year – but we did want you to see the kind of gardens that grace our city.

Just click on each picture to see the beauty.

Nominations for the 2011 can be sent in any time and must be received no later than June 25th.  Click below to get a nomination form.  All gardens must be visible from a public street, the garden must be a private residence and it must be in the city of Burlington.

View the 2010 winners

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When we have the zones for the 2011 competition we will pass those along to you and we will of course follow the competition avidly in 2011 and publish the results in full glorious colour and detail.

Click here for 2011 Nomination Form






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