Kristen Beattie, the founder of Cheerful Flowers, poses for a photograph in her garden with the plants that she is growing to distribute to community members in Terrace as part of the project. (Binny Paul/ Terrace Standard)

Kristen Beattie, the founder of Cheerful Flowers, poses for a photograph in her garden with the plants that she is growing to distribute to community members in Terrace as part of the project. (Binny Paul/ Terrace Standard)

Video: Spreading cheer in Terrace with flowers

Kristen Beattie the founder of Cheerful Flowers reflects on the project now in its second year

People passing by Kristen Beattie’s property on Halliwell St. would often yell out that they love her flowers.

The comments brought a lot of joy to Beattie, an environmental scientist, who moved here with her family from the Lower Mainland in 2019.

So she started leaving jars with cut flowers near her driveway for people to take when they walked by.

“I wanted to share my flowers with other people,” says the mom of three.

After the pandemic began last year people were experiencing a lot of stress and uncertainty and for Beattie her flowers and plants seemed to be a simple solution to spreading some positivity in the community.

The Cheerful Flowers project was birthed last year after a Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Vancouver Foundation. As part of this project, Beattie purchased over 30 grow bags/ planters, painted, decorated and filled them with an assortment of flowering plants and distributed it to people in Terrace and the surrounding areas.

Some of the flowering plants that she uses in the planters are nasturtiums, petunias, patio lily, marigold and alyssums. “All of which are easy to grow and look after,” she says.

She spends a lot of her free time growing plants in her backyard – an idyllic spot consisting of garden beds filled with herbs, vegetables, strawberries and a chicken coop. Her 4-year-old and 6-year-old help her with planting too.

This year, Beattie plans to go bigger with her project and aims for more than 90 planters. She also wants to use the project to help people learn gardening, especially since community members have been super responsive to Cheerful Flowers. Nurseries in Terrace and gardeners supported her too by donating plants and seeds.

“I always receive thank you notes from people who have taken home planters and that is very exciting for me,” she says.

To make the project more inclusive, she will be collaborating with teachers from the Ecole Mountainview school and distributing 40 grow bags for students to decorate along with soil and the plants for them to make their own planters.

Five-year-olds from Paces Daycare will also participate in the project and Beattie will be supplying them with 15 planter materials.

For Beattie the Cheerful Flowers project was a meaningful way to connect with the community and it also gave her a purpose to invest energy in during the pandemic.

To further engage community members, Beattie is going to hold a small contest this summer where participants will be encouraged to post photos of their planters on social media.