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Lakefield Horticultural Society to the rescue

Three seasons ago Lakefield purchased professional gardening services. They designed and implemented a garden in Isabel Morris Park on the water front. It provides a walking path through the gardens which are nice for users and visitors including boaters.

The original concept of the IMP garden was interesting and attractive as first planted. The theme of the garden was native flowering species and shrubs which were planted and heavily mulched. It received many favourable comments that first year from users of the park.

Last week, Lakefield and District Horticulture (or Hort) assessed the garden at the Park. It was so overgrown and the weeds were so rampant that the Horticultural Society concluded it was an eyesore for Lakefield, rather than an asset to the community. The organization decided to try to help on a one time basis.

On Wednesday of last week, the Horticultural Society organized a work party of sixteen hard working volunteers including the Lakefield Trail Stewardship Committee and Youth Unlimited.

They weeded and cut back a portion of the garden. Truckloads of brush were carried away after the bushes were thinned out. The Township provided all the mulch and a truck and trailer to remove and dump all the trimmings.

The work party was able to complete only one-third of the garden which took over 100 hours of labour.

The Garden cannot be left as it is, because anyone walking north to the end of the path will encounter a side-by-side comparison of two gardens, one of which has been abandoned. All gardens require gardening expertise, hard work, materials and equipment to maintain. The skilled and semi-skilled labour is by far the greatest need. It was made it clear that Horticultural Society cannot support another garden of this size.

The Township is aware of the organizations concerns and limitations. The small chapter of less than a hundred has many members currently doing all that they can for Lakefield beautification. The Township have been very appreciative of the organizations hard work, but there is a need for a greater budget for maintenance, a person with the appropriate gardening expertise, and workers for maintenance.

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