Landscaping of the Shawnee Town Center Post Office

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Several years ago Shawnee businessman Fred Turner asked me if I would work to improve the landscaping of the post office which was marred by a number of dead shrubs as pictured in the photo . He said he would pay to have the shrubs removed and provided funds for new landscaping plants. This was previously acknowledged with a sign that it was funded by an anonymous donor. Now you know who the donor is!

After obtaining the authorization of the postal officers, the work began. Removing the dead shrubs turned out to be more difficult than expected, but when it was accomplished we started installing the new shrubs and annuals. A few years earlier, we had planted several boxwood shrubs that were about to reach their adult size. Luckily, a friend had given me three smaller, but matching boxwoods that we could plant to replace some of the shrubs we had removed. Another friend came in contact with a man who donated several large stones from his ranch which were placed in the bed. (Others have been installed at the Japanese Peace Garden and the OSU Extension Office.)

The first year, we planted annuals in the spring and pansies in the fall. Several kale ornamentals have been planted near the sidewalk. These became so big that they overflowed onto the sidewalk and had to be moved to the back of the eastern part of the bed. This was several years ago and they are still going strong and need to be pruned every spring.

The existing bed featured a number of purple and yellow irises. These had to be hollowed out and divided to improve flowering. This resulted in beautiful flowers each spring.

This bed has an excellent location for plants. It receives the eastern sun and the western sun which is partly blocked by the large buildings adjacent to the west. The warmth of the brick structure and the sidewalk on the south side of the building protects the plants from the extreme cold in winter.

Of course, depending on the rains, annuals should be watered about once a week. This spring, while I was watering the plants, a woman I didn’t know told me how much she appreciated the plants and gave me bills and told me to buy gasoline. Later, when I took the bills out of my pocket, I found out that she had given me $ 100! This was the amount that had been spent on annuals in the spring. At the end of the summer, I asked a man to be a speaker at the Lions Club, but he was scheduled to be out of town. To my amazement, he sent a $ 100 Lowes gift card that paid for the pansies planted at the post office last week!

A number of master gardeners from Pottawatomie County helped plant and maintain the bed. We frequently receive compliments on its attractiveness.

As always, this is the last gardening post of the season written by Master Gardener writers Linda Smith, Rebecca Carlberg, Lisa Hair, and myself. We like to share some of our ideas and appreciate the support we get from the Master Gardener program.


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