Stop and Smell the Flowers

Future site of landscaping for Monticello Gardens.
Photo: Brooke Lavite
Sierra Beckwith
Staff Writer
With spring anxiously awaiting around the corner, Lewis and Clark’s Monticello Sculpture Gardens, located here on campus, will soon begin blooming and buzzing with a freshly planted and carefully designed, eye appealing landscape display.

Bee Dazzled is the theme for the Monticello Sculpture Gardens’ annual summer plant show this year. The theme is based around plants and flowers that will provide food for and help attract the local pollinators to prevent the effects of the Colony Collapse Disorder.

 Colony Collapse Disorder means that the bee populations are dying off, but not here at Lewis and Clark if it’s communities efforts have anything to do with it.

Local schoolchildren will be actively participating in making native bee boxes, beehives, and bee themed stepping stones in efforts to welcome many of these hard working natives to the college gardens.

Welding students will be getting involved with creating the display this year as well, building 8, 10, and 12 foot tall vine tunnels and columns. These displays will be dripping with buzzing gourd blossoms, dutchman’s pipes, passion vines, morning glories, daffodils, alliums, corcus’ and streams of flame honeysuckle.

“We’ll have vertical plants for the first time ever,” Kara Mayfield, Horticulture Manager, said..

Keep your eyes peeled for the tulips, which will be the first to appear during the month of March. There are fresh bulbs planted each fall, and the old bulbs don’t go to waste.

They are picked from the ground each year, bulb attached, still in bloom, and handed out to passing staff and students on campus so they can start fresh again the next fall.

Planting starts the first week of May, and will provide for a beautiful sea of colors during May graduation. This year the campus will not only be swarming (hopefully) with bees, but also many variations of the dahlia flower.

The flowers should be in full blooming peak around the end of June to early July, and will be looking its finest when the students return to campus for the fall semester.

Each spring since 2002, Terra Design Studio’s landscape architects, as well as many other contributors including L&C’s Kimberly Baker, Lead Architect, and more recently, Kara Mayfield, have been working hard to turn our campus into a wonderland of varying plants and flowers.  The display is  different every year to keep the garden always looking vibrant and fresh.

Within the gardens there are a collection of 14 bronze sculptures created and dedicated by internationally renowned artists to the college starting in 1969 (New Heritage) to the most recently dedicated in 2013 (Crazy Horse).

Baker and Mayfield are hoping that by June, a sunflower labyrinth will be placed somewhere on the campus.

 It will remain until late September to early October, so incoming and returning fall students will be able to experience this brilliance as well.

The Monticello Sculpture Gardens are a public garden, partnered with Missouri Botanical Gardens, and are doing their best to meet botanical garden status.

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