The flower beds Delilah Onofrey and her family planted on Hilliard Boulevard won “Best Use of Color” in the seventh annual Westlake In Bloom competition. Pictured (from the left) are her sons Devlin, Arden and Tristan, who all helped plant the beds this spring. The varieties included: petunia ‘Easy Wave Blue,’ gaillardia ‘Arizona Sun,’ Disco marigolds, verbena ‘Aztec Red’ and purple perennial salvia for height.
Westlake, Ohio, was one of the first cities to participate in America In Bloom in 2002 and won its population category that year. The city enjoyed the program so much that it has grown its local program seven fold in seven years from 38 to 300 entries, including 224 raised flower beds. The rest of the entries span categories recognizing residential and commercial landscaping efforts in homes, condominiums, businesses, hotels, nursing homes and churches. Local garden centers provided $25 gift certificates to first-place winners.
The value of this vibrant program isn’t lost on Mayor Dennis Clough. “We knew Westlake In Bloom would be a great idea because so many in the community enjoy getting involved,” he says. “It has enhanced the quality of life we all enjoy in the city of Westlake. I recently went to Chicago to reaffirm the city’s No. 1 bond rating, where we talked about all the good things happening in Westlake. Believe it or not, the analysts commented on how beautiful our city is, not just the finances.”