Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Osgoode Public Garden Strawberry Social 2005

Thank you for all of your support for what is now officially known as the 1st ANNUAL Osgoode Public Garden Strawberry Social!

We raised almost $600.00 in total! This was way beyond our expectations and on behalf of Mary Ann Riley and I, and those who enjoy the Osgoode Garden, thank you very very much.

It was a perfect day, blue sky, low humidity, 26 degrees and nothing went wrong at all. Everyone seemed to have so much fun! The music carried through the village as far away as the park. Picture it: a lone sax playing bluesy, jazzy melodies in the lazy afternoon hours while people milled about in the garden and actually lingered there in the shade. Often the music changed to a Celtic flute with dance notes fluttering in the breeze! Ken Duck so graciously performed the flute and sax solos. There were also two gorgeous voices and the keystrokes of a soothing piano sounding lovely and serene - thanks to Carol Ann Stewart and Meagan Stewart.

The chocolate whipped cream was a hit. All whipped cream and cake was donated by Osgoode's Jim Beverage. Oven's Berry Farm provided us with perfectly ripened berries at a great discount. The berries could not have been improved upon and many people commented on how delicious they were. Thanks to Mary's Dollar Store for napkins, spoons and other necessary items.

The Green Bard nursery (just new to the public) donated unique plants to the Osgoode Public Garden. Deschamps nursery, as always has in the past, donated plants and are now in full bloom at the park!

Many thanks to the three strawberry shortcake servers, Kate, Jamie and Jane, who were serving for 3 hours with a smile. They also served complimentary lemonade on ice.

Kids laughed and skilfully hunted for hidden animals in the garden, eager to get their lollipop reward. They were amused by the "hens and chicks dragon/dinosaur"! It was interesting that the children noticed the pile of "hens and chicks" was actually a dinosaur however many adults did not. Their delightful imaginations obviously gave them an advantage!

Free posters of wildflowers, buttons, book markers and information on many garden topics was donated by the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Thank you Darla.

Thank you to those who signed up to help with the public garden maintenance and Spring/Fall clean-ups. I look forward to nurturing your garden enthusiasm and working alongside you.

Many thanks go to the Osgoode Garden Club who will be donating $100.00. Their support is most welcome and appreciated. As well, many thanks to all those who donated more than the ticket price as it was truly unexpected and will help us plan a truly wonderful garden next year!

Greely Sand and Gravel donated a whopping 15 yards of mulch for the public gardens. This was urgently needed to keep maintenance down and to aid in water retention. We never water the public garden and this is the main reason we don't have to - so thanks Greely Sand and Gravel!

The fine art exhibited by artists Jaqui Duck and Bonnie McQuillan reflected a nature theme and displayed beautifully amongst the gardens. The works were inspirational. Jaqui also provided face painting for the children.

A reporter knew a good time when he saw it. He mentioned we had all the right elements for a successful event: live music, fine art, and a beautiful place outdoors. Look for media coverage in any of the 4 southern Ottawa newspapers. Thank you Jeff.

Lastly, thanks also goes out to:

* My mom Catherine Fuoco for her gardening influence and continued support of gardening
* Councillor Doug Thompson for announcing this event on his website
* Michael, Yam, Caitlin, Jim, Darlene, Jaqui for their help with landscape preparation
* Ben Riley for donating his time, caring and energy to childcare
* Jeff Blackadar of the Ottawa Horticultural Society for announcing this event to members
* Mary Ann Riley, who helped me to prepare my garden for the 3 weeks leading up to the big event!

If anyone is missing whom I did not thank, please send me an email. I will be sending out more "thank you notes" via regular mail to those who do not have email.

Thanks again and see you next year!

Karen Fuoco,
The Travelling Gardener


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