Rotary learns how flowers plant beauty in Buckhannon

Robert Barbor, the horticulturist for the city of Buckhannon, planted a little more knowledge about gardening in the minds of the Buchannon Rotary Club members Tuesday.

In his presentation, he told the members about the different plants and flower arrangements that are on display throughout the city and his ideas for the future.

Residents or visitors of Buckhannon alike may see the tulip bulbs, hanging baskets, petunias, ipomoea, impatiens and even peppers among more than 20,000 flowers planted around the city.

“They really added some color downtown,” he said.

Barbor said that people take particular notice of the hanging baskets.

“They are a really big feature in Buckhannon,” Barbor said. “Everybody likes these.”

Barbor said he has worked on many projects throughout the year, including the planting of shrubs along the walking trail extension near West Virginia Wesleyan College and the planting of 25 new trees at Jawbone Park. He also assisted when Union Elementary School students planted trees at Buckhannon City Park.

“That was a fantastic project,” Barbor said, adding that a teacher later asked for his assistance with a strawberry planting project at the school.

This year, two new flower beds and gardens were planted in Buckhannon. They are the perennial shrub beds at Jawbone Park and the flower beds that rest beneath some of the trees along the walking trail near West Virginia Wesleyan College. The new plants are not the only changes that were made this year.

Barbor said the city now uses natural fertilizers. This change was implemented this year and brings new benefits to the flowers and plants throughout town. Barbor said the natural fertilizers, made from fish, create a better work environment for him and the other employees because they are not using chemicals throughout the day. He also said that it provides the plants with improved vitality and creates less of a nutrient runoff that is typical of other fertilizers.

In the future, Barbor said he would like to create more gardens around town and that he is always looking for new opportunities to do so. He would like to have a commercial compost facility, rainwater catchment storage systems, an arboretum, a community garden and an automatic irrigation system for the hanging flowers that require daily watering.

He said the arboretum would be a place for the community to learn about gardening. Barbor said the community garden could have plots available for rent by people who don’t have enough space to garden from home. It could be a place to produce strawberries for the West Virginia Strawberry Festival. He also said that excess food produced at the community garden could be donated to places like the Parish House.

Barbor also left the Rotarians with one tip on watering plants. He said that if the water is too cold or too hot to the touch for a person, it will be too cold or too hot for a plant. To maintain a healthy plant, use water at air temperature. Water can be left standing until it reaches the correct temperature.