A “green thumb” is not an adequate description of Joyce Purchase. How do you describe someone who, for more than 20 years, has been responsible for beautifying a city? Joyce’s passion for all things growing, and her amazing organizational skills, are the force behind Steinbach’s 350 flower baskets and countless beds, pots, and shrubs. Every year she wows the community with her creations and floral designs. Steinbach is proudly known as a beautiful city and the work of Joyce and her team is one of the reasons.
Starting as a helper 21 years ago and less than two seasons later, when her predecessor accepted another job, Joyce was offered the role as city beautifier. “At first I was very intimidated, but it wasn’t like it is today,” says Purchase, “back then it was just me to do the work. I was by myself. ”
Twenty years later, the City’s gardening requirements have grown along with its boundaries. This season, Joyce has eight helpers and she’ll keep them very busy all summer long. She has a weekly schedule she tries keep to – each day of the week dedicated to weeding and maintaining a certain park or city facility.
Joyce’s season actually starts in the fall when she orders her seeds for the following year, a process she says takes about 6 weeks to plan out and design before submitting the final order. Joyce works her magic with a modest budget to gain big results for the Steinbach community. And Joyce doesn’t usually plant the same thing twice, “I change things every year because residents notice. I get calls where they say they want to see something new and different from last year,“ says Purchase, “and I like to challenge myself, doing different designs and arrangements.”
And when you ask Joyce about the comments she receives, “It’s the people that tell me we have the prettiest community and that they go out of their way just to come and see our flowers. Those are the nicest compliments.”
Summer has once again arrived in Steinbach and thanks to Joyce, her green thumb, and her team the City will once again be in full bloom.