Growing Great Places Together


submitted by Norene Smiley, Pugwash Communities in Bloom

Huge mulching work parties! Weeding planting up a storm! Preparing for national judges, joining a national garden campaign and planning a community art extravaganza! Pugwash Communities in Bloom volunteers, new and old, met the challenges this summer. Their energy and dedication resulted in lush gardens, planters spilling over with petunias, lots of garden celebrations and artists descending on Eaton Park.

This July, Pugwash CiB was delighted to host National Communities in Bloom judges, Lorna McIlroy from Grande Prairie AB and Linda Tomlinson from Kelowna BC. During a two-day visit, judges were able to meet representatives from a number of local organizations and businesses, including Friends of the Pugwash Estuary, Cumberland Trails, Sunrise Greenhouses, KGB Recycling, HarbourFest, Open Hamper Food Bank, Pugwash Open Air Gallery, the Tennis/Pickleball Assoc., Sport Pugwash, Bill Mundle Marina, Thinkers Lodge, and many more. Representatives of all three levels of government outlined how our community is administered and funded for new projects including the hospital, Harbourfront Centre Stage, library and tennis/pickleball facility. Pugwash will receive judges’ recommendations in late October during the National CiB Symposium.

As our part in THE YEAR OF THE GARDEN 2022, a nation-wide program, we offered a number of informative and fun events in our community:


Celebration of Gardens recognizes and celebrates gardens and the hard work of gardeners in our beautiful village and surrounding area. Container gardens, vegetable gardens and children’s gardens…all being acknowledged. The public was invited to nominate gardens by submitting photos and brief descriptions, gardens were visited and featured on CIB’s Facebook page in August.


Cyrus Eaton Elementary students planted seeds in their classroom, tending to them and watching them grow this past school year. In the spring they were busy in the gardens, weeding and getting the soil ready to plant their seeds and transplants. During the summer the produce from the various fruit trees and plants was available for the community to pick and enjoy. A group of enthusiastic children from the village, under the guidance a dedicated CIB volunteer, have been busy planting seeds and tending to the gardens during the summer months. They are hoping to have flowers to  pick and share soon!


This small but thoughtful, and much appreciated, effort saw a number of bouquets of flowers pop up in the village. Delighted ‘finders’ were encouraged to take these beautiful gifts home, compliments of CIB.


The public was encouraged to share photos of their favourite trees and tell us why on the CIB Facebook page. Our volunteers have been busy in the last few years identifying and planting trees in our village. Paying attention to and protecting the health our trees is a priority of Pugwash CIB.


Garden lovers were invited to visit three outstanding gardens in our area one hot Saturday in July. Seventy-seven visitors toured gardens on the Gulf Shore (Liz Clarke), Pleasure Cove (Vandewiels) and Prince Albert St.(Valerie Brown) in Pugwash and get pointers and recommendations from experienced gardeners.


July was also an opportunity to visit gardeners with expertise in growing perennials (Debbie Cameron), vegetables (Dot Pal at the Open Hamper Community Garden) and native plants (Gerald Gloade, Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre) in coordination with the Pugwash Farmers’ Market.

As part of our Pugwash Open Air Gallery initiative, CIB partnered with Pugwash HarbourFest to host ‘ART IN THE PARK‘ on July 30 in Eaton Park. The focus was on the joy of creating art and featured local artists and artisans and their creations. Activities included:

  • Art Demo Tent – Six Artists demonstrated their creative process and shared information in a free, safe, collaborative environment under a tent in the middle of the community festival. All ages took part in hands-on art-making; asked questions; learned techniques; tried new art mediums. Pottery, tapestry, hooking, painting, natural dying and photography was represented. In addition, one artist received the public at his home gallery.
  • Tie a Knot for Peace – the public was invited to ‘write a message for peace’ on colourful ribbons and tie them to a new steel Peace Sculpture in Eaton Park. This reinforced Pugwash’s history in the peace movement as well as enabled the public to participate in creating the art installation.
  • Guided Art Tour – visitors toured the art installations on a eight-passenger cart pulled by an antique tractor, with guided commentary, learning about the work of local artists included in the Pugwash Open Air Gallery. Visitors to the village could also take their own self-guided walking tour using POAG maps.
  • Artful Trees – seven organizations and businesses decorated trees, adding creative whimsy to Eaton Park.

Pugwash Communities in Bloom is a proactive, energetic community organization proud of its collaborations with the Village, businesses and other non-profit organizations to make Pugwash a great place to live. If you would like join us, email

Take me Flowers

Ronny Wells and his antique tractor pulling the Guided Art Tour cart through the village streets

 Bonnie Bond and Maureen Leahey Tying a Knot for Peace at the new Peace Sculpture


 Visitors to Eaton Park hugged by an Artful Tree during Art in the Park

The CEE Summer Garden Club planting seeds