Springfield Botanical Gardens Nathanael Greene/Close Park Garden Report 2012
By Bob Childress, Friends of the Garden

January 10, 2013

Garden Construction and Maintenance

Winter Garden: Our main project this year was phase 2 of the Winter Garden. This garden covers about an acre of ground and is the largest garden in Close Memorial Park. We added 5 new sections and planted hundreds of plants designed to have year-round interest. Our expenditure for topsoil, mulch, compost, the water feature with circulating pump, decorative boulders and stone edging was about $27,000, funded for the most part by Friends of the Garden membership dues. We still have about 1/3 of the garden left to construct before it's totally completed. The garden and water feature were designed by Gail Wright and Dr Bill Roston. Working along with many Friends of the Garden volunteers they are developing another "jewel" in the park, we hope you have seen it.
Peace Garden: The Botanical Gardens 36th garden dedicated to peace makers is a gift from Mariel Caldwell to honor her friend, the late Joan Collins, who was a local teacher and librarian. It is located just south of the Dwarf Conifer Garden in Close Memorial Park. Construction is complete on the stela and 4 benches that are Missouri marble coming from a local quarry. Engraved on the stela are the words "let there be peace on earth" in 4 languages: English, Japanese, Arabic and Spanish, representing peace in various parts of the world. We plan to complete the landscaping around the area this spring.

Ethnic Tree Trail: A planting of 32 black gum trees was installed along the north fence perimeter of Nathanael Greene Park. Each tree represents an immigrant and their country of origin. A stone marker shows the name of the immigrant and the country. At the west end of the row are two granite markers with the name of Jim Mauldin, the creator of this ethnic immigration history tree trail, and the names of those involved in the creation and installation of the trail. Jim Mauldin originally conceived the idea of documenting the stories of these immigrants to the Springfield area and arranged for the recording of their stories which was published. This document is on file in our Botanical Center Library and at the Springfield-Greene County Library Center.

Dogwood Garden: The Kay Cummins Finnie Memorial Dogwood Garden is endowed by Tom Finnie on behalf of his family and is maintained by the Parks employees. This year, several new dogwood trees were added as well as overstory trees and several donated trees were memorialized. In addition an bench was installed.

Wildflower Garden: Several acquisitions were donated for this garden with the help of Sue Hollis and the area was expanded to accommodate them.

Bill Roston Native Butterfly House: Running water was extended to the Butterfly House and hose outlets were installed. This allows for drip irrigation of the plants in the house and eliminates the need for overhead watering.

Butterfly Nursery Garden: A new garden was constructed just south of the Butterfly House to provide extended plant propagation for butterfly caterpillars. It will also have a display of nectar plants and should provide an attractive display.

Lily & Iris Gardens: Frank Mason and Stan Horsch refurbished the stone edging in these gardens and substantially improved the appearance of both areas.

Cercis (Redbud) Garden: A 100' brick walk was added to this garden and several bricks have already been sold. Our hope is to use this venue to generate additional revenue with brick sales and weddings.

Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden: Don and Nancy Schmidt have worked with the parks staff to renovate this garden nd return it to the original plan. Nancy may want to expand.

Annuals: Thousands of annuals were planted in a number of the gardens to provide summer long bloom and color in the park. We purchase them locally from Theta Steinert who grew and provided them through Steinert's Gardens & Greenhouse at wholesale cost saving us hundreds of dollars.

Golf Carts: We have acquired two golf carts for transporting potential memorial or other donors and to provide transportation for work crews. One cart will be dedicated to work and the second for donor tours. In addition we have bought a trailer to move wheelbarrows and other tools from the shed to work areas. They will allow us to eliminate or at least minimize the use of personal vehicles for these purposes. This will prevent damage to the grass and irrigation heads from the heavier vehicles. Both the carts and the trailer were funded by donors.

Garden Adopters: We have had changes in this volunteer group. The Rose Garden is now under the care of Dan Faflak, a rosarian who has assumed this responsibility. The Dwarf Conifer Garden is managed by volunteer by Don Snyder.

Laser Engraver: Our laser engraver has been in use and we are in the process of making plant signage and other markers for the gardens. The Hosta Garden is done and we have most of the markers for the Peony and Grass Gardens complete as well.
.
National Garden Certification: The Daylily Garden has received certification by the American Hemerocallis Society and is recognized as both a Heritage and Region 11 Hybridizers garden. Our display is one of the largest in any national public garden. The Hosta Society has fulfilled all the requirements for recognition by the American Hosta Society as a certified garden with the exception of installing the plant labels. They expect to receive certification this year.

Volunteers: We have a large number of community volunteers who are responsive to requests for help. In addition Kids Across America, a national organization with a facility near Table Rock Lake, provided a group on three occasions last summer. The Good Samaritan Boys Ranch (http://www.ranchlife.org/) has a group of 8 – 12 boys who come weekly during summer school vacation each year and have provided an immense amount of work. MSU has a program for volunteers to learn about opportunities to help in the area and they worked with us last spring when there was so much to do. If you would like to assist please contact us.

Memorials: Last year we installed a large number bricks in the White Garden, Butterfly House and Redbud Garden walks. Also a number memorial trees and shrubs have been donated. Finally we installed 5' and 4' cut stone benches. If you are thinking of a memorial or would like to honor someone special please visit with us about the options.

Report submitted by Bob Childress January 10, 2013
Vice President & Garden Chair
Friends of the Garden, Inc.