Steve Cate

Alberni seniors flex sunflower power

Rainbow Gardens (Tsaawaayus) held its annual Sunflower Competition to usher in the beginning of the fall.

Rainbow Gardens (Tsaawaayus) held its annual Sunflower Competition to usher in the beginning of the fall.

The event comes on the heels of the annual Pumpkin Contest, which was held at West Have last year and judged by local  pumpkin grower Jake van Kooten.

Visitors and contestants were treated to a warm welcome by the host home residents on a beautiful day in the Valley.

Although the actual plants were not on display, their pictures were available to see. The event, had originally been scheduled for the third week in August, a prime time for the plants to grow, but had to be postponed due to a flu outbreak that affected some residents.

Rainbow activity coordinator Judy Peterson opened the program by welcoming the visitors by reading a background and history of sunflowers and pointing out their uses in several parts of the world.

Everyone played a guessing game. A jar containing buttons and cotton balls was passed around for the people to guess how many were inside. Three residents were awarded with special prizes for guessing the closest to the actual numbers: Brigette Baranji, Fir Park. Village (first place); Orize Marcotte, Abbeyfield (second place); and Dennis Brooks, Echo Village (third place).

Peterson told stories to the audience’s delight.

The following is the list of the awards. Each home was presented with certificates and prizes:

“The most prolific plant” – West Haven.

“The most self sustainable plant” – Heritage Place.

“The most enthusiastic and dedicated group of gardeners” – Echo Village.

“The most upright group of plants” – West Haven.

“The most independent looking plant” – Abbeyfield.

“The tallest plant” – Rainbow Gardens.

“The most decorative garden plant” – Echo Village.

“Sunflowers in the nicest flower bed” – Fir Park Village.

“The most publicly viewed plant” – Abbeyfield.

“The largest flower” – Heritage Place.

“The most unique ‘smiling’ plant”- Rainbow Gardens.

“The nice smallest plant” – Fir Park.