Master Gardeners upgrade Courthouse landscaping

Master Gardeners upgrade Courthouse landscaping

Wanda Dixon, Jim Dixon, and Mary Tinder work on planting flowers behind the Veterans memorial. Enquirer~Democrat photo by Erin Sanson.

 

By ERIN SANSON
Enquirer-Democrat Reporter

The courthouse lawn was buzzing with activity Friday Sept. 24 as the Master Gardeners continued their landscaping efforts. Discussion and planning for the new landscaping began in 2018. Designer Layne Knoche began to design the first phase of the two phase project in spring of 2019. In the Fall of 2019 the Master Gardeners began phase one, removing shrubs around the sidewalk of the Veterans memorial and planting about 150 new ones. The Master gardeners also landscaped around the First Responders memorial on the North East corner of the lawn during the first phase.

Phase two, Knoche says, was going to be the “big project.” He began designing in late 2019 to early 2020. The project was put on hold due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, which Knoche syas, allowed time for the Master gardeners to fundraise.

The landscaping of the First Responders memorial was planned with the Veterans memorial redesign in mind, the flowers and plants were planned ahead to create a cohesive look. Knoche says its like “they’re talking to each other.”

The garden was filled with both native and non-native plants, including coneflowers and asters. In the sunny parts of the lawn the gardeners planted shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers, while the shady areas had ferns, sedges, and other spring blooming flowers planted. There should be plants in bloom from March through November with the new landscaping. Plus, the landscaping brings a pollinator habitat to the Courthouse grounds.

The biggest installation, Knoche revealed, would be a large installation of tulips in the garden. The tulips will be red and white tulips, which are supposed to bloom at the same time as the native Virginia Bluebells the Master Gardeners planted, giving the garden a red, white, and blue color scheme.

The Master Gardeners raised around $3,700 in funds, plus they received a match in funding from the University of Illinois. Their plans for the future include maintaining the projects they have currently, but Paula Robinson reminds the public that donations are always welcome. The master gardeners also receive support through plant sales they have through the year, notably at the Spring Festival at the Anderson Mansion grounds.

To read the full story, see the September 30th edition of the Macoupin County Enquirer~Democrat.