Thursday, April 14, 2016

Communities In Bloom puts Pincher Creek on the International stage this year

Christian Davis

Pincher Creek's enthusiastic gardening community is in for another exciting year. This year the Town of Pincher Creek is on the short list in the Communities In Bloom (CIB) International Challenge - Small Category, and will be competing with four other communities including Killarney-Turtle Mountain (Manitoba), Pré-Saint-Didier (Aosta, Italy), Sun Rivers Resort Community (BC, Canada), and Sveti Martin na Muri (Croatia). CIB judges Evelyn Alemanni and Gaétan Deschênes are scheduled to arrive in Pincher Creek on July 24. Evaluation Day will be July 25, and they will leave the next day.

Lebel Rose Garden (Justine Jorgensen file photo)

Pincher Creek earned the right to compete on the international stage after winning Nationals last year in the 2015 CIB Class of Champions (Small) category. We received 5 Blooms – Silver, and a special mention for Lebel Mansion Rose Garden. Pincher Creek also won Nationals in 2009 in our category, and in 2014 we were included in the Circle of Excellence.
"After viewing all this, now I am getting nervous….and I was the one that said – oh, it is just like nationals!  This is all very exciting and can hardly believe that the judging will take place in just over 3 months! " - Diane Stuckey, Pincher Creek CIB
2015 Pincher Creek Communities in Bloom Committee celebrating their 2015 Circle of Champions win
Noreen Robbins, Adriana Hoekstra (Oldman Rose Society), Diane Burt Stuckey, John Hancock, and Wendy Ryan

Pincher Planters and Oldman Rose Society volunteers have been persistent in their efforts to beautify Pincher Creek, beginning in earnest after the flood of 1995 resulted in a considerable amount of devastation to the town.

2015 National CIB Award

Meet the judges:

Evelyn Alemanni
National Judge 2016
Elfin Forest, California, USA

Evelyn is a self-employed writer, photographer and award winning gardener. In 2001, Good Morning America named Evelyn's garden one of the five best in the U.S. It has been featured in many consumer publications including several times in Better Homes and Gardens and its special interest publications and books.

She is the author of eight volumes of her "Fleurs du Jour" series of books featuring bouquets for every day made from plants growing in her own garden. Evelyn's garden writing has appeared monthly in a wide variety of publications.

She is a popular speaker at national conferences and has appeared on many radio and television programs.

She is also the author/designer of America in Bloom's "Ten Years of Best Ideas" book which features more than 2000 ideas and photos for making towns great from participating America in Bloom towns. The book was nominated for the American Horticultural Society national book award. She has volunteered as a judge for the national America in Bloom program since 2002 and is a board member chairing the external relations committee. She has also volunteered as an international judge for the Communities in Bloom (Canada) program since 2005. In addition, she has served as an international judge for the LivCom awards and the Philadelphia Flower Show. To date, she has judged more than 150 towns in ten countries.

Evelyn also served on the board of directors of San Diego Botanical Garden and on the town council of Elfin Forest, CA including six years as chair (mayor).

Evelyn lives with her husband and two incorrigible Westies in Elfin Forest, California and gardens on 5.5 acres.

Gaétan Deschênes
National Judge 2016
Garden Writer
Saint-Basile-le-Grand, Québec

Alongside a thirty-year career at Radio-Canada as journalist, senior editor of information services and program director of the regional radio stations, Gaétan Deschênes has always been passionate about gardening and horticulture.

In particular, he has published 6 books on the subject, including The History of horticulture in Quebec and Roses. In addition to these, he regularly publishes feature articles in various specialized magazines. He has notably presented local French-speaking readers with coverage of dozens of private and public gardens from across Canada, the United States and Europe.

A true enthusiast, he also researched and hosted a series of 26 broadcasts on the Évasion channel. The programme, named Secret Gardens, highlighted the work and the love of plants of 26 gardeners from every corner of Québec.

Throughout his career, Gaétan Deschênes has also been an active member of the beautification committee of his town.

In this capacity, he has participated as judge for various landscaping contests in his town as well as in other communities of the region.

In 2008, he acted as a judge on the Canadian Communities in Bloom competition, which brought him to every province in Canada; in 2009, he did similar work for the Québec competition Fleurons du Québec and in France for the Villes, Villages et Campagnes Fleuris competition.

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