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Flower Baskets Return to Great Falls Village Centre

Seventy baskets placed around Great Falls.

Seventy flower baskets, containing four colors of double wave petunias, have been placed around the Great Falls business areas.

Seventy flower baskets, containing four colors of double wave petunias, have been placed around the Great Falls business areas. Photo by Alex McVeigh.

— For the second straight year, Great Falls businesses and individuals came together to place hanging flower baskets around the Great Falls Village Centre. Last year, 50 baskets were placed, this year that has been increased to 70 baskets, to include the Safeway shopping center, Leigh Corners, the Shell station and Olivers Corner.

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From left, George Benza of SBG Land Management and Glen Sjoblom, next to one of the 70 flower baskets in Great Falls.

"The baskets have been placed near almost all of the light poles around the village centre," said Glen Sjoblom, who helped coordinate and plan the placement of the baskets. "The baskets are made of coconut fiber, and we put down a protective lining to help keep the water from flowing through, which should keep them from drying out."

The baskets were installed on May 15, and contain pink, purple, red and white double wave petunias. The Great Falls Citizens Association purchased the baskets from Joanne Shumpert of Treefrog Nursery, who grew the flowers in the Treefrog greenhouse.

SGB Land Management will water the plants. The baskets are currently being watered three times a week, but George Benza of SGB said it could increase. He said by late summer last year they were watering two out of every three days.

"It adds an extra touch that I think is very appropriate to Great Falls, which prides itself on keeping nature as a priority," said Jean Palgrave of Great Falls. "The color is a nice accent to the area, and I’m glad to see it’s expanded over most of the business areas."

Last year’s baskets contained two different colors of double wave petunias, as well as sweet potato vine.

"We decided not to bring back sweet potato vine this year, because as the summer went on, they grew so much they choked out the other plants," Sjoblom said.

Members of the Village Centre Condominium Association, Olivers Corner Office Condominium Association, Great Falls Shell, Great Falls Center, Leigh Corners Condominium, Dante’s, Friends of Riverbend Park, Village Green Day School and Great Falls Citizens Association contributed, as well as individuals Bill Harvey and Doug Neuman.

The baskets will hang until the flowers decline at the end of the summer, at which point they will be stored for the winter, to be replanted next summer.

The GFCA recognized Sjoblom for his efforts at their June meeting.

"Because of his extraordinary commitment to developing and promoting a program to install and maintain flowering, hanging baskets throughout our community, Great Falls now has a unifying theme of beauty," said Jackie Taylor, outgoing president of the GFCA.