Business owners rally to make Maggie blossomWritten by Colby Dunn
Maggie Valley is gearing up for its next round of beauty treatments in an ongoing effort to spruce up the town and bring some color to its streets.
The beautification program, led by master horticulturalist and Maggie Valley resident Clayton Davis, is a sweeping plan that intends to bring color to the valley year-round through mass plantings.
The first phase, which entailed planting tulip and daffodil bulbs in the town’s signature red and yellow, got under way last autumn. The bulbs need to be dropped into cold ground, so the town along with residents and businesses collectively planted several thousand bulbs last November.
The next phase of the plantings will include knockout roses, a famously hardy and simple species that blooms throughout the warmer months. Davis said that other plants intended to add color in the winter months, like nandina, will also be on offer.
The town is able to get wholesale discounts on the plants because they’re buying them in bulk, so citizens and businesses who take them up on the offer get their plants at cut-rate prices, as well as the expertise of Davis and the town’s grounds staff.
After discussion at a recent meeting of the beautification committee, participants will also get fertilizer and Nature’s Helper, a special growth aid, to help their plants along.
For its part, the town is funding the planting of its own properties — such as the landscaped area in front of town hall — with $6,000 it’s set aside for the project. Half of that sum was donated as matching funds by Home Trust Bank.
The idea behind the beautification belongs to Davis, who was inspired long ago by a trip to Summerville, S.C., where azaleas bloomed across the city. Davis and city officials hope this initiative will give Maggie Valley a face lift and bring increased tourist visitation.
Order forms for the plants are available at the Maggie Valley Town Hall and all orders are due by April 18. On sale are Gulf Stream nandinas for $11, nandinas for $18 and knock-out roses for $11. The next meeting of the beautification program will start at 10 a.m. on April 18, in the Maggie Valley Town Hall.