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In 1999, the Virden Town Council asked the Virden in Bloom Committee to coordinate the establishment of a floral bed on a former garage location adjacent to Scallion Creek. This property was classified as an ‘impacted site’ because of oil contamination, and could not be used for commercial development without major environmental clean up. The Virden & District Chamber of Commerce also relocated their tourist booth to this property.
An initial donation for a floral bed project had been given to the Virden in Bloom committee by Keith and Freda Abraham of Barnstaple, England when they were guests of the Town in 1998, and became the seed money for this project. Barnstaple and Virden were competitors that year in an international Canadian Communities in Bloom competition.
A retaining wall was installed in order to give the 70 foot long bed a gentle slope towards the adjacent street, and the area was filled with donated topsoil. Local people gave perennials from their gardens, and some shrubbery was added for variety. Locally available limestone was used to border the garden and create accent areas. By the spring of 2000 the bed was ready for the planting of approximately 125 dozen annuals, a task eagerly performed by volunteers of the Virden in Bloom committee. They continue to plant the bed each year and do necessary weeding. Two lattice work structures were donated, one large enough to accommodate two garden benches.
Through donations from several businesses, a paving stone walk-way was installed to guide people along the perimeter of the garden. A sprinkler system has also been added to water both the turf areas and the garden itself drawing water from nearby Scallion Creek. The system is maintained by volunteers. This year, a replica of a local grain elevator, built to scale, has been added as an historical attraction and also used to house the water pumping system.
This bed was named the Millennium Garden, and each year is a very welcome site of floral beauty, which welcomes tourists to the Information Booth area, and also serves as a picnic site for locals and travelers.