Historic downtown changes with seasons

POULSBO — Even though the thermometer on the Plaza 305 sign read a cool 44 degrees and a brisk north breeze chilled the air, volunteers still gathered downtown Sunday to replant the pots and hanging baskets for fall.

Downtown business owners, along with city officials and representatives from the Poulsbo Farmers Market and Poulsbo Garden Club, worked side-by-side as they made their way along Front Street and hurried to complete the job before 9 a.m.

“It’s totally required,” said Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association President John Kuntz as he took a brief break from transporting plants. “It’s what makes the difference between old and historic.”

The semi-annual plantings that occur in May and late September or early October are an important part of maintaining the appearance and atmosphere associated with the downtown area, Kuntz said.

“It’s all-volunteer and a lot of credit has to go to the Master Gardeners, because without them it certainly wouldn’t happen,” Kuntz said, noting that gardening group plays an integral role throughout the entire process.

While a number of Master Gardeners helped in the event, Poulsbo Garden Club Vice President Diana Digleria said the planting shows that the end of summer doesn’t mean the end of colorful fauna.

“It’s a nice thing to do and it’s a good way to give back to the community,” Digleria said. She has participated in the event several times in the past.

The effort helps keep downtown beautiful and gives people an opportunity to enjoy working together, she said.

While Sunday morning provided a respite from Saturday’s downpours and thunderstorms, Digleria said weather was not a factor in her decision to participate.

“Even when it’s pouring down rain, it’s still fun to be with friends and doing the planting,” she said.

Master Gardener and Poulsbo Farmers Market Marketing Manager Jackie Aitchison welcomed the event’s change from its traditional Saturday to Sunday.

“I’m a Master Gardener and we’ve always helped, but I’m glad it’s on Sunday so I can help,” Aitchison said, explaining that her responsibilities with the farmers market have limited her participation the past few years.

The big blue pots are prominent fixtures downtown and maintaining them helps support the community, she said.

An additional benefit to helping replant the pots during the summer and winter is a sense of personal satisfaction, Aitchison said.

“It’s great when you can drive through downtown and know you helped with them,” she said.

As most of the pots along Front Street were transformed for the season, HDPA beautification chairman Jim Wise was all smiles.

“It’s always something different every year and it’s always exciting,” Wise said.

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