Thursday, October 27, 2011
Downtown planters need proper care
By SUE WATSON
The Holly Springs Main Street design committee is pleading with business owners to help take better care of the plants, although some are doing a great job.
This week, in preparation for winter planting, Gwen Wyatt, committee chair, and Frances Underwood found dead evergreens, and lots of planters have been misused as trash bins for beer cans, whiskey bottles and cigarette butt disposal.
Main Street will have to purchase about 15 replacement ilex hollies at $6 a pop, Underwood said.
The committee called for better upkeep and monitoring of the planters by businesses year around.
“The reason these are dead is two-fold,” said Underwood, “lack of water and misuse of planters for (disposal of) cigarettes.”
When there is not enough rain, business owners are asked to take water to the planters.
Underwood said that tobacco can be soaked and the liquid sprayed on plants as an insecticide, but when tobacco is placed on the soil and water percolates through it, the nicotine kills the plants from the roots.
She called for civic pride from citizens to water the plants in front of their businesses and to check on the hydration in their neighbors’ planters.
“We’d appreciate it if people would quit practicing planticide by neglect,” she said. “This is the county seat and we love our town. I am going to put all the fat in the fire. I’m irritable.”
Wyatt said the town square is like the living room of a home – the nicest room in the house and the one people see when they come over to visit.
“Visitors see this first and the room should always look nice,” Wyatt said. “We need more civic spirit.”
“We want people to notice that when we replace the bushes and plants, we want them to last,” Underwood said.
She said the tulip bulbs did not grow and multiply in the planters that were not watered regularly so the committee will have to spend money to purchase more bulbs.
“We are going to have to replace the bulbs too, because when the water is gone, the bulbs dry up and the ants move in,” she said.
Wyatt thanked businesses and people who kept their planters up during the summer.
“We also appreciate businesses who have contributed to the purchasing of plants,” she said.
Some bulbs have multiplied where people watered, Underwood said.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Underwood. “We work so hard. Old 78 ties into Van Dorn and into Memphis Street and is the old, de facto, main street.”
The women said plants really brighten up the town and are cheap investments as compared to some more expensive elements in the Main Street design plan such as iron works and Victorian-style street lamps. The design committee cannot move on those plans until quite a bit of money is available, they said.
Wyatt said the committee is still in the planning stage and has lacked stability in terms of leadership. She said she is about the fourth chair of the design committee. Main Street, itself, has had three executive directors and is currently operating without a director.
“If we had boo koo money you could have a totally energized Main Street,” Underwood said. “The merchants paid for the fall flowers and the money is trickling in to pay for bushes.”
Anyone who wants starts for begonias, the plants with the white flowers in the planters, can ask for sets as the begonias will be replaced for the winter plants. Businesses or individuals can take the begonias inside and put them in a window planter for the winter, Underwood said.
Call Underwood or Wyatt to request sets of begonias.
The design committee welcomes new members and volunteers. The committee meets every third Monday at 5:30 p.m. at JB’s Restaurant on the square.
“It’s called, have shovel, will travel,” Underwood quipped.
“Our aim is to make the town beautiful and inviting,” Wyatt said.
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