Tony England works the ground to prepare for winter.
Tony England talks about his work.
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- It takes a lot of work to maintain the outdoor beauty of the Fredrik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. That work includes preparing for the cold. So as winter approaches, teams of volunteers work to get the park ready.
Tony England is horticulturist at the Meijer Gardens. "What we are doing here is that we are removing all the annuals from the summer," explains England. "They are really starting to brown."
Because the park is so big, different horticulturists are assigned to work and winterize different sections. England is leading a team of gardening volunteers working the flowers and plants at the entrance of the park. "We are getting the whole plant out and these mums will be put into the compost bin eventually," explains England.
Gordon Griffin is a Meijer Garden volunteer digging up the plants. "I love it," explains Griffin. "I have been doing it for 15 years." Many of the other volunteers share Griffin's enthusiasm. "The Gardens is like a feast for the heart and soul," explains Ken Dykman. "We are clearing one buffet to get ready for the next buffet."
The next step in the process is to rake the bed and add mulch, then wait for next year. "Around March we will get new annuals and a new design to plant," explains England.
While annuals need to be pulled, it is the trees that need to be protected. "Another thing we do is we put these tree wraps on trees that we know deer and other animals might get to," explains England.
Pull, toss, rake, repeat because winter is almost here and there is still a lot of work to do. If you have any interest in getting involved at Frederik Meijer Gardens, visit this link: http://www.meijergardens.org/support_the_gardens.