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Landscape Division (Part 1)

Spring is the time of year for new growth, green grasses and blooming flowers. The Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Landscape Division plays a large role in making sure that our City, our Parks and our green spaces around our buildings look beautiful this time of year.

The Landscape Division provides the citizens of Bowling Green with a unique Landscape Program that includes the beautification of our parks and public spaces as well as educational programming that promotes the importance of green spaces in our urban areas. The Landscape Division is Managed by our Landscape Manager and includes five full-time, 2 part time and 3 seasonal employees.

Landscape employees have offices located in our Kaz Abe Facility on Brookwood Drive out Morgantown Road. This facility boasts a greenhouse where both annual and perennial flowering and foliage plants are grown. The annual plant program consists of a group of plant varieties that have been proven to be successful in our region. This group consists of the following:


Flowering – Angelonia, Ageratum, Begonia, Celosia, Geranium, Marigold, Vinca, Zinnia.


Foliage – Coleus, Colocasia, Ipomea, Alternanthera, Pennisetum (annual rubrum),

Beyond those that are grown each year, there are a group of flowering and foliage annual plants that are rotated from year to year. The City doesn’t grow these every year, but changes them around to give different looks to the landscape.


Examples of these would be: Cuphea, Dianthus, Dusty Miller, Gazinia, Gomphrena, Impatiens, Lobelia, New Guinea Impatiens, Ornamental Millet, Ornamental Peppers, Petunias, Pentas, Ptilotus, Salvia, Scaevola, Thunbegria, Tuberous Begonia, Verbena.


Also, typically the Landscape Division will grow a few varieties of plants they have never grown before to see if they will be successful in this region, an example of that for this year would be Mandevilla.

The Landscape Manager evaluates all of the landscapes annually and any new plant that proves successful is added to the rotation, while any poor quality plant is, after environmental conditions are taken into consideration, is either given a second try or discarded from the growing program.

Next, the Landscape Division grows both flowering and foliage perennial plants. These plant varieties are not grown every year but on an as needed basis for new park locations or improvements to existing landscapes. For example last year, several flowering perennials were grown to add to the improved landscape beds at Fountain Square Park and the Butterfly Gardens at Fairview cemetery. This year several hostas were grown for a project at Fairview.


Examples of these perennials would be:
Flowering – Allium, Asclepias, Canna, Coreopsis, Echinacea, Eupatorium, Glandularia, Helenium, Hemerocalis, Kniphofia, Lavender, Liatris, Lilium, Monarda, Rudbeckia, Salvia, Sedum, Solidago, Veronica.


Foliage – Calamagrostis, Erianthus, Heuchera, Heucherella, Hosta, Liriope.

All of these plants arrive at the Kaz Abe greenhouse as either plugs, cuttings, or bareroot. They are transplanted into trays or pint and gallon pots and grown until they are ready for planting in the landscape. It is estimated that the City plants around 7,000 annual and perennial plants per year.

The last part of the annual color program consists of spring tulip bulbs. These bulbs are shipped to the City in late fall and planted immediately so they will emerge from the soil in spring. The tulip varieties normally planted are both Darwin and Triumph, of varying color. Both of these varieties are strong single bloomers that bloom in mid spring which works well with our region. Typically, the Landscape Division plants around 5,000 tulip bulbs per year in various parks and building fronts.

While growing and planting a wide variety of plants, trees, shrubs and flowers is a large part of what the Landscape Division does, there is much more to this dedicated Division. Stay tuned next week for more.