Best feet forward in Bible Hill

Boots and Blooms events puts finishing touches on Alumni gardens

Sherry Martell
Published on June 16, 2014

BIBLE HILL – Dozens of community minded people were putting their best foot forward on Friday having fun while helping put the finishing touches on a popular garden in Bible Hill.

These weren’t just any plain old boots either with some adorned in crochet just for the occasion, while others featured hand-painted designs and floral décor among other unique creations.

“It’s a feel good day,” said Mary-Eleanor Walker, Dal AC marketing manager, sporting red crochet bands on her brown boots decorated with large white, orange and purple flowers. “It’s a nice way to give back and beautify the campus.”

Walker has passion for crocheting, saying she has helped raise more than $10,000 for charity with her talents, and decided to put it to use for this event by making each of her team members a vegetable themed hat.

About 100 people participated in the morning gardening work party that was capped off with a barbecue.

There were several team entries vying for special prizes for best-decorated boots and best costumes.

The event brought united students, faculty, the public and even a class of pre-school students from the Dal AC day care.

“This is what we call our ‘sweat equity’ event to get people out from all the buildings on campus, to mix and mingle and to get out in the soil,” said Stephanie Rodgers, university spokeswoman.

This is the third year of the event, which helps the ground maintenance crews put the finishing touches on the popular garden where many people take prom, graduation and wedding photos this time of year.

Jeff Morton, co-manager of the grounds, said the event accomplishes two goals.

“We want to energize the staff and get them caring about the campus, and do something different,” he said. “It’s also a chance for us in this busy spring period to get some extra hands to do the finishing touches.”

He said the work is regular maintenance they would eventually do, like adding mulch to, building new beds, weeding and planting, but they take pride in having the gardens in tip-top shape ready to “show off” for people wanting a gorgeous backdrop for treasured photos.

He said the area where the gardens are located was a nursery for the former Nova Scotia Agricultural College in the 1940s.

“There are old varieties here that you wouldn’t see in a garden centre now,” he said, naming the more than 50-year-old rhododendrons in particular with a great sense of pride.

An added bonus for helpers is they each were given a plant to take home.