The 2014 Grounds Committee in Governors Park has met regularly this year, making plans for improvements in many areas of the neighborhood. Culling a long list of needs, in March the group identified its top priorities for the year.
Maintaining the tree canopy in the Park is a top priority. The committee is developing a tree restoration plan to replace trees that die and are removed over the years.
Meanwhile, projects to address many other Park grounds priorities have been completed this fall.
Upper Amphitheater Entrance
For a few years the upper area of the amphitheater between the crape myrtles has looked bare after the original shrubs died out.
This week compact, variegated Abelia ‘Canyon Creek’ were installed to restore some interest to those two beds.
Pool Entrance Beautification
One area the committee selected to enhance this year is the main entrance to the neighborhood near the pool. Unsightly utilities and trash cans create an eyesore for residents and visitors entering and leaving the neighborhood.
Screening material has been placed in front of the service area of the pool to provide an attractive view. As the plants mature they will help the trash cans recede into the background.
Bright green Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald’ (Emerald Arborvitae) and dark burgundy Loropetalum chinensis ‘Ever Red’ (Ever Red Loropetalum) were paired for this planting.
Also, evergreen foundation shrubs have been added in front of the pool house between the crepe myrtles. Seasonal annuals are planted here by the community’s contracted grounds maintenance company, but the original permanent landscaping had dwindled.
To create a low-maintenance layered planting for this area, a group of compact variegated abelia were installed behind the annuals. In back is a hedge of Prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’ (cherry laurel), a dwarf cultivar with white fragrant flowers.
Baxter Runoff Project
The Baxter Runoff Project is one of the most extensive undertakings this year. The goal was to improve the area at the top of Baxter, just down from the pond and toward Meadow Park to hold back erosion and encourage grass to grow.
In the first stage of this project the hillside was regraded to slow and redirect rain runoff. Then the area was planted with grass to hold the soil in place. Irrigation was extended into this section to support growing grass and to allow for future enhancements.
Daffodil Program And North Pine Grove
Finally, the Daffodil Program strives to enliven all areas of the Park neighborhood in mid-spring through the planting of 1000 bulbs. The committee expects the daffodils to continue to naturalize and multiply in future years.
In mid-November the daffodil bulbs, 500 King Alfred and 500 white and yellow Ice Follies, were distributed and planted among all 8 cul-de-sacs, as well as in key locations within the main loop enclosed by Village Park Drive.
In particular, one area identified for beautification this year is the Pine Grove at the north end of the Village Park Drive loop near the back of the tennis court.
With this in mind 220 of the daffodil bulbs were allocated for this section to create a vibrant flood of color for several weeks when spring arrives.
About Governors Park Grounds Committee
Support for these projects comes from the Governor Park’s 2014 neighborhood enhancement monies. Allocated annually by the Governors Village Board of Directors to the Townes, Park, Village, Forest and Lake, available funds are targeted to the five neighborhoods according to an equitable distribution depending on the current number of units in each of the areas.
The Park Grounds membership includes Chair Jo Watta, Cliff Simpson, Carrie Klein, John Eberhard, Mary Anne Hutton and Susie Moffat. New members are always welcome.
Contact: Jo Watta – jwatta1 at nc.rr.com
Minutes—Governors Park Grounds, Tuesday, March 11, 2014 – identifies 2014 priorities
Governors Village In Depth: Neighborhood Grounds Committees – describes purpose and funding, May 13, 2014
Bulb Planting Plans – Cul-de-sacs Narcissus Planting Guide and Main Loop Planting Guide, November 2014 (PDFs)
Governors Park Tree Project – describes thirteen trees planted in Governors Park, November 2013
Story and Photos by Susie Moffat