The Sunriver Community Garden was the scene of a luncheon to honour the Communities in Bloom judges.

Sooke is a community in bloom

Communities in Bloom judges are impressed with Sooke's 'secret' places

After a hiatus of one year, Sooke once again came through with a great showing for the Communities in Bloom competition. Businesses and individuals spruced up their premises and put on a good show for CIB judges Heather Edwards and Catherine Kennedy. The judges were honoured with a luncheon at the Sunriver Community Garden on Friday.

The CIB judges were impressed with the community garden and the improvements made in Sooke. This was their first time judging in Sooke although they were here for the CIB conference two years ago.

“It’s different,” said Heather Edwards. “There is lots of development going on.”

“Development has been done and we’re impressed by the beautyincorporated into it.” said Catherine Kennedy.

In reference to what they were shown in Sooke, Edwards said, “There are lots of hidden treasures tucked away.”

Both judges were amazed at the amount of sponsorship and the sheer number of volunteers in Sooke.

“You don’t get that in the big city,” she said.

Kennedy said she was a ‘Victoria gal’ and she saw another element of Sooke which gave her a whole new appreciation for the community.

The boardwalk along the harbour also impressed the Lower Mainland judges.

“This has to be the longest boardwalk in Canada, it’s gorgeous, beautiiful and you get a boasting point,” said Edwards.

An evaluation report will be written up by the judges and blooms will be awarded at the October conference.

The apple shack was officially opened and will be the venue for workshops on such topics as fruit tree pruning, grafting and planting. The first workshop on summer pruning and grafting is scheduled for July 28.

The apple shack is dedicated to Maywell Wickheim, said Glen Thelin.

“Maywell split every single pale (long shake) by hand in February,” said Thelin. He said Maywell was key in the vision of the orchard and the apple shack.

“Maywell listened closely to the vision and understood. Maywell’s touch is evident in every aspect of this building. Maywell took this seed of an idea.”

At the dedication ceremony a Red Obelisk Columnar Purple beech tree was planted in Wickheim’s honour.