Delilah cultivating a 'gorgeous' downtown Port Orchard

Delilah Rene and her children worked this past week to create an elaborate collection of flower beds on Bay Street.  - Carole Bacon/Staff Photo
Delilah Rene and her children worked this past week to create an elaborate collection of flower beds on Bay Street.
— image credit: Carole Bacon/Staff Photo

Radio show host, café owner, painter, author and champion of children’s causes, now the indefatigable Delilah Rene is adding landscaping to her list of talents.

Known simply as Delilah to her syndicated radio audience of 8 million, the South Kitsap resident has been on a personal mission to beautify downtown Port Orchard starting last year with her “Paint the Town” campaign.

This week she was back in motion, working to make the downtown area “gorgeous” she said.

Her latest project, an embankment full of flower beds, is currently taking shape along Bay Street across from the Peninsula Feed store and Delilah’s own Cozy Kitchin.

“I thought this area was ugly,” she said. “We have this beautiful waterfront downtown area and I want to make it a place that people will want to visit.”

After getting permission from local business and property owners on both sides of the hill, Delilah commenced with her plan to landscape the area with planters and flowers.

Accompanied by her own kids and a collection of their friends, what started out as two small rows of plant beds eventually evolbed into six large planters that span almost the entire hill.

“This is a bigger project than I planned and budgeted for,” she laughed. “I’ve already spent over $8,000 just for cinder blocks.”

According to Delilah, the project officially started in April, but due to clay soil and uncooperative weather, it’s been slow going.

With a little help from some friends, Delilah has planted almost all six rows with annuals, perennials and vegetables.

“I gave seeds to students from Mount Tahoma and they grew the plants for me,” she added. “I also put an ad on Craigslist and these ladies showed up one day with rhizomes, bulbs and plants and helped me put them into the ground.”

So what’s next on her list once the hill is completely planted?

“I want to have local kids do a sea- and fish-inspired art mural made out of tiles along the front of the planter.”

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