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The Garnetwood Park Flowerbed Project

June 2005-This shows the entire Garnetwood Park flowerbed prior to changes  - 

June 2008 - we've come a long way Baby!
- to see changes - see Project Pix
How we got started on this 
 Photo Copyright Louise Peacock

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Louise Peacock. is a custom garden consultant, horticulturist, speaker and webmaster based in Mississauga, Canada. She is also the President/Founder of a non-profit garden association  called The Gardening Network. (You can read more about the Gardening Network on the home page)

Louise and her husband moved to Mississauga in late 2003, to a house which is very close to Garnetwood Park. The Burnhamthorpe entrance to the park has a large flower bed which was always lavishly planted with colourful annuals - until 2005.
Due to service levels adjustments and program changes, Mississauga Parks has now opted to change some of the annuals planting displays in its various parks, into perennial and shrub beds, as Louise found out when she called to find out why the Garnetwood bed looked unmaintained. 
Feeling that the location of this particular flowerbed  heralds the entrance to Mississauga from Etobicoke, and that in its unadorned state, it was not very welcoming, Louise thought that the Gardening Network should offer some support.

She contacted Mississauga Parks Department and spoke with Murray Glassford, Manager, North East District, and Jeffrey Cunningham, Supervisor, North East Parks Operations, to see if they would be interested in this type of involvement.  She explained that since the Gardening Network  had done exceptionally well in their 2005 annual fundraiser plant sale, that they would be pleased to donate some cash toward the purchase of some flowering plants for this particular bed.

Murray and Jeff expressed great enthusiasm for the idea, and suggested  taking it a step further: What if the Gardening Network was to  "adopt"  two sections of this large beds -  the sections in front of each park sign - and plant the area themselves?

August 2008 - Park Gardener, Brenda Lee Albrethsen (right) and Louise Peacock (left) with the Mississauga In Blooms award they won for the Garnetwood Park Flowerbed
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To see the area, click on Project pix

Louise thought that this was a great idea, and followed Murray and Jeff's request to submit a rough  project plan.  The plan showed the areas that the Gardening Network would be adopting, and showed the plants GN proposed to add, as well as the plants that they would re-use from existing Parks material. The project plan for 2005 was to be executed in three phases.
The plan was approved by Murray Glassford, Jeff Cunningham, Sue Eglit and Jason Bertrand, the Garnetwood Park gardener, and formal liaison was set up between Jason Bertrand, and the Gardening Network.

After a couple of discussions with Jason regarding preferred plants for that location, Louise approached local plant suppliers and GN members for plant donations in order to get Phase 1 underway.
On Canada Day, Louise stands triumphantly in a newly planted bed !

Frank Santos from Tiveron's (the Apple Market) donated 11 one gallon pots of spring flowering, Black Widow Cranesbill, and Dave Carbone of Longos (at Rathburn and Ponytrail)  donated  8 four-inch pots of groundcover Sedum, 6 one gallon pots of summer flowering Cranesbill,  4 one-gallon pots of  "Vera Jameson" sedum,  and 4 four-inch pots of Yarrows, and from Gardening Network member Norma Clark, 4 four-inch pots of Feverfew.  Plant World gave four beautiful Russian Sage, 4 large yellow yarrow and  8 Wooly Tthyme. Later more donations would come in, and Jason would get some donations from other parks in Mississauga which had some excess plant material.  You can check out the donors and the plant material by going to the Project Pix section.  

All of the donated material allowed the project to proceed on target and within the zero budget!  
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To check out the project photos, click here
The project was started on June 29 (one of the hottest days we've had to date ...) , with Louise undertaking to do this phase by herself, since none of the other GN members were available..

The task was made more interesting by the fact that Louise had managed to crack four ribs while doing another job the day before.

Phase 1 was deemed complete on June 30/05. Phase 2 was completed on  July 18/05 with the assistance of volunteers Helen and Alex. Phase 2.5, which is the Parks section of the project, was completed  during the months of August and September 2005.. Phase 3. was completed in September (with some amendments) on three separate days, one with Gardening Network volunteer and member, Clive Bowen and Louise who planted a batch of Creeping Phlox and few more perennial Geraniums.  However, by then the project had grown - Louise was helping Jason with the entire was no longer just the two sign sections.

We deemed the first part of the project would be complete and ready to launch officially on September 30, 2005. We sent out the invitations, the press releases and the flyers and we lined up at 9:am, Friday September the 30th, 2005.
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We were really happy to have Councillor Maja Prentice with us, for the launch.   Check our project photo page for the subsequent years

Project Launch Sept 30/05

Dorothy, Kirkie and Murial - Gardening Network stalwarts are the first GN members to arrive.  These three donated many of the plants in the project.

Several neighbours turned out to join in the event - on the far left - John Doherty and in the red jacket, Mary.

John donated the tall orange lilies we have at the back of the bed, and the Ribbon grass. Mary donated some hosta and some lovely orange hybrid daylilies.

Jason shows Maja Prentice where he wants the last Perennial Geranium to be placed in the border.

Jason Bertrand,  Dave, Jeff Cunningham and Tony Fleishman of Recreation and Parks, with GN Volunteer and plant donor, Alex Romansky.

The group stands around admiring the garden!

Ward 3 Councillor, Maja Prentice makes official Launch Speech

Jason, Dave (behind Jason) Murray Glassford, of Recreation and Parks   Tony Fleishman (Forestry)  joking with Murial and Norma of the Gardening Network.

Our good friend, Tony Fleishman, the head of Mississauga City Forestry, came out to lend his personal support to this project.  Sadly Tony is no longer with the City and is greatly missed.
Helen and Alex, the two first donors that helped us get phase 2 off the ground. Alex was kind enough to donate a large quantity of Creeping Jenny and  Lamium

Louise Peacock waves happily from behind park sign.

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