Scotts Miracle-Gro is all about gardens—putting in new ones, reclaiming old ones, getting that shovel into the ground. But before doing that, Underground Service Alert of Southern California wants gardeners and contractors to know that it’s a good idea to call 811. Both sponsors won awards with their floats, built by Fiesta Parade Floats, in the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade.
Miracle-Gro won the prestigious Isabella Coleman Trophy for best presentation of color & color harmony through floral use with “Life Starts Here,” its third Rose Parade entry. Underground Service Alert, usually known as DigAlert, took the Bob Hope Humor Trophy for most comical & amusing entry with “Do It Right…Call 811,” its second entry. The slideshow with this article has photos and details of the floats both in the parade and at the Showcase of Floats.
When Scotts Miracle-Gro took over as the presenting sponsor of the post-Rose Parade Showcase of Floats for the 2013 Rose Parade, the company made a commitment to improve Pasadena’s green spaces, as Miracle-Gro vice president Tom McLoughlin told us shortly after the partnership was announced. Since then, the company has helped with several projects in Pasadena, including revitalizing three parks, sprucing up the landscape around a community center, and working with student gardeners at John Muir High School. Links to those stories are in the “Suggested Links” list below this article.
“Life Starts Here” illustrates Miracle-Gro’s GRO 1000 community outreach initiative to create 1,000 community gardens by the company’s 150th anniversary in 2018. As of New Year’s Day 2015, 508 spaces had been created. The float shows how green spaces can be created in unexpected places—pocket parks, a repurposed rail line, and the roof of a brownstone apartment building. The profusion of fresh materials in a rainbow of color, from cascades of flowers to whole vegetables, won this float the Isabella Coleman award.
Don Davidson designed the highly animated “Do It Right…Call 811.” Dialing three numerals can avert a tragedy. In 1976, a construction crew in Culver City, Calif., accidentally breached a petroleum pipeline, resulting in an explosion that took nine lives and burned a city block to the ground. A few months later, Underground Service Alert of Southern California was formed to be the go-to agency for people planning construction or plantings.
Today, DigAlert is funded by more than 900 SoCal utilities. One call to this free service at 811 or by going online to DigAlert will create a service ticket that goes to all the utilities that service the property. Each one comes out and marks their lines in color-coded paint.
To the tune of “Whistle While You Work,” animated cats and dogs work together to build a birdhouse condo for their neighbors. Unfortunately, they forgot to make that phone call! The backhoe emits puffs of theatrical smoke as the boom rises, lowers and swings from side to side. The auger spins, breaking pipes that spurts real water and CO2, and the birdhouse post teeters back and forth. Special pink dendrobium orchids created bushes along the float. Only a limited number of these are grown for commercial use and were only available for use on this float.
For links to all articles about the 2015 Rose Parade “Inspiring Stories” winners, bookmark “A book with chapters: The 2015 Rose Parade in photos and words.” For the trophy winners, read “Rose Parade floats 2015: Who won in the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade.” Please post comments on Facebook at All Things Rose Parade.