BUCKHANNON – Despite social distancing going on inside, Buckhannon’s famous flowers are growing beautifully outside, thanks to city horticulturist Dixie Green.
My Buckhannon recently talked with Green about her plans to brighten up Buckhannon’s cityscape.
Green has been the Buckhannon City Horticulturist since October and was inspired to help beautify Buckhannon when she learned the position was available.
“I graduated with a degree in horticulture at West Virginia University a few years ago and I was working as a landscape consultant/greenhouse manager for a while,” Green said. “I always have wanted to move up to this area because my dad is from around here and I always enjoyed coming here to fish.”
She said when she heard there was an opening in Buckhannon she jumped at the opportunity.
“People have already been commenting on some of the bulbs that are blooming around town,” Green said. “Some of them were here before I got here and some of them are what I put around town last fall. It offers a little bit of color for folks to look at during the spring of the year.”
Green said folks need to watch out for the additional pops of color springing up around Buckhannon in late April and early May.
“We are planning to put in a couple of new beds around town including one on Madison Street,” she said. “Coming into May, we will be hanging our baskets and sprucing up everything around the main city streets.”
She said her goal for Buckhannon is to keep working on what Rob Barbor started when he was the Buckhannon City Horticulturist.
“He really upped the ante with the flower program in Buckhannon,” Green said. “Other towns in West Virginia have taken heart from that and they have been doing their own flower programs similar to those in Buckhannon. I want to keep pushing that level and add on where I can and increase the varieties where I can.”
Green said she wants for residents and visitors to Buckhannon to say ‘Wow’ when they see the flowers.
“I want to keep that up,” she said.
Stunning additions to the flower beds are not limited to just flowers. Green said there will be a few more trees being planted around Buckhannon as well.
“Later this spring, I will be working with Buck Edwards, of Create Buckhannon, on planting a few more trees,” she said. “He wants to put in several dogwood and redbuds over by the Dollar Tree. Callie Cronin-Sams (city information coordinator) wants to put in a few trees and native plants in at the City Park so the kids can have something for a ‘nature spot-and-find.’ We will be working on that this spring.”
Making magnificent landscapes with trees, shrubs, bushes and flowers is only part of the goal. Green said these plantings attract bees, butterflies, birds and more.
“Most of the species we have around town are really good pollinators,” she said. “Most of them are native plants you can find around West Virginia. They are all great pollinators which is great for bees and butterflies.”
Green said this year, she will continue with the wildflower pots.
“We will have several of the wildflower pots around town because they are not only beautiful to look at, but using them cuts down on mowing time, which cuts down on labor and gasoline consumption,” she said.
“The city just removed several trees along Madison Street which were not good for our local birds,” Green added. “We will be replacing those trees with ones that are more bird-friendly.”
Green said if she were asked to pick out her favorite part of her job, she would be hard-pressed to point to just one segment.
“I love all of it,” she said. “I love growing the flowers, I love designing the things that will be going in around town, I love working with the great, hard-working people who work for the City of Buckhannon. There really isn’t a downside to this job. I love every part of it.”
Green said residents are welcome to help beautify the city by planting in their own front yard.
“Anything that people want to plant is great,” she said. “Most of the local garden centers carry everything that is naturally growing here or some version of that. All of it is good for our local wildlife and all of it is pretty. It’s hard to go wrong with plants.”
She said if folks want something with lots of color, she recommends butterfly bushes and standard flowering shrubs. Another planting she said to try is herb gardening.
“Now is not the time to plant herbs outside,” she said. “If folks are looking for something to do while staying at home, I recommend preparing flower beds while there is time. Now is the time to prep all of the beds by removing the weeds and getting them ready for planting.”
Residents should keep their eyes peeled for new and returning blooms as Green ‘grows’ with her job in keeping Buckhannon beautiful.