Saturday, July 12, 2014

Grand opening of Lebel Rose Garden

Pincher Creek's Rose Garden
Justine Jorgensen photos
On the afternoon of Saturday, July 12 the Oldman Rose Society of Southern Alberta (ORSSA) hosted the Grand Opening of the Lebel Rose Garden. The 48-foot radius formal rose garden is located on the hill east of the Lebel Mansion in Pincher Creek. With a celtic cross design, the garden boasts circular beds of brick, walkways and wrought iron benches, all open for the public's enjoyment. The event included a few speeches and a ribbon cutting ceremony at 2:00pm, followed by cake and refreshments.

ORSSA is a "registered society of people who are interested in growing roses, and horticulture in general" explained member Jan Frith. "Roses are really our primary interest." The group began the rose garden project in 2009, with the objective, according to Frith, "to create a community garden for everybody to enjoy." They completed several phases over the years, thanks to generous donations, grants and fundraising. The first phase was to build the first circular planter in the center. Phase two was developing the next semi-circle planting beds and some of the paths, as well as acquiring benches. Phase three was finishing up the outer circle, the pillars, the sidewalk, and planting the rest of the roses.

There are fifty five roses in the garden, many of them Canadian Explorer and Parkland (Morden) roses. All are hardy flowers that can tolerate the winter without protection or special care. "They're now just all coming into full growth; from now on they will mature more and have more reliable blooming and so on," said Frith. We're just really pleased to have this project underway."

Many were involved in this event: the town of Pincher Creek, the town of Cowley, the MD of Pincher Creek. Also present were a couple members of the Calgary Rose Society, as well as a special guest from Ontario.  Harry McGee is with National Roses Canada and gave a short speech before the ribbon-cutting ceremony. "Projects like these take time; it isn't just money. You need muscle, brains, a will to keep going and going." He highlighted how happy he was that the ORSSA has made it to this stage and finished off by saying "It looks splendid. I am so proud of you all!"

Harry McGee, National Roses Canada
The afternoon continued with the cutting of the ribbon by Mayor Don Anderberg, who added (in regards to the garden), "[It is] another great addition to our community."

(Left to right) Member Jim Cisar, Mayor Don Anderberg, member Ianthe Goodfellow, member  Rose Johnson
Ianthe Goodfellow and Jan Frith
Ianthe Goodfellow and Donna Cisar

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