Danville ready to plant true colors

March 18, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

All over the county, gardeners dream of soon-to-be-planted cheerful cosmos and saucer-sized zinnia blossoms. Tufts of wild onions and daffodils have already stuck their heads out from the dormant brown cover.

From the depths of the public works garage, the beautification department is getting ready for the growing season.

Tulip leaves have already stretched up from their bulbs, and climbed out of the ground at the courthouse and city hall. Beautification Director Ronnie Yates and employees Dean Carpenter, Jeremy Pope and Jennifer Hill are out checking the beds, ready to mulch.

By April 1 the mowing will begin. After the tulips die, around May 1, the bulbs will be dug up, given to charities and then the beds will be planted with begonias and petunias.

"I think a lot of people in the community enjoy the flowers," Mayor John W.D. Bowling said. "They can actually see their tax dollars growing."


The city has ordered $2,409 plants from Red Barn Nursery, a wholesale outlet in Nicholasville.

Blue wave, silver wave and misty lilac petunias at the courthouse

At the courthouse, there will be blue wave, silver wave and misty lilac petunias. The Main Street squares will be planted with blue wave petunias and white million bells, a petunia look alike.

Flower beds in the medians will be planted with red and yellow lantanas, which have multiple small blooms to make up a round blossom. The lantana survive in dry conditions, perfect for medians because the beds are harder to water.

City hall will have an assortment of pink and white begonias. The welcome signs will have red and white million bells. Beds at the federal building will be filled with melampodium, a bush with small yellow daisy-like blooms.

Then the baskets will be hung down Main Street from Stanford Avenue and this year will extend across the viaduct.

Peter Cooper, owner of Red Barn Nursery in Nicholasville, will begin transplanting petunias and begonias into the baskets next week. They will get a good start in his greenhouses before coming to Danville.

Once the plants are in the real work starts. The crew will spend its days repairing beds that cars have driven through, picking up litter, and water and weeding.

"You have to love it to do this," Ronnie Yates, beautification director said. "It's a big job, a bigger job than people realize."

On hot days the crew will be at work by 5 a.m. to water. The baskets will have to be watered seven days a week.

While residents are still enjoying the spring plants the beautification employees will plant mums, which will be ready for fall.

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