On Wednesday, Jasper city employees and members of the Jasper Herb Society were busy placing flowers into hanging baskets. The baskets will be placed throughout Jasper, including on new light poles recently installed in the city.
“This is a gardener’s dream because we’re putting together a palette,” said Renee Goetz, a volunteer with the Jasper Herb Society. “We can go through and pick whatever we want.”
The city greenhouse was indeed filled with more than 4,000 plants of all colors, including petunias, Super Bells, Snow Princess and verbena. The plants are the Proven Winners brand, endorsed by P. Allen Smith, who hosts several gardening shows and has written books about gardening.
Mary Beth Musgrove, Jasper city horticulturist, said the city paid 50 cents each for the plants.
“We’re hoping they outperform anything we had in the past,” she said.
Workers and volunteers will use the flowers to make 132 hanging baskets and several planters.
The city places baskets of flowers throughout the city every year, but this is the first year the city has actually grown the plants, according to Musgrove. On Feb. 8, Musgrove and others put the baby plants, or “plugs,” in pots to grow.
Also for the first time, the city is using new Bloom Master hanging baskets, which hold six gallons of soil and plants.
Musgrove had the idea to place a piece of plastic pipe in the center of the baskets for watering. She said it should help with the bottom half of the pots drying out as they have in previous years.
“We put a lot of time and invested a lot of money into the new system,” Musgrove said. “We hope it pays off enough to where we save time and money to maintain the plants.”
She said the baskets and planters will be in place before Easter.