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Passion for plants
Volunteers help beautify town
BY LINDA McGURKCommercial-NewsThe Commercial-NewsMon Jun 10, 2013, 09:54 PM CDT
COVINGTON, Ind. --
Where some people see a neglected flower bed or a planter overgrown with weeds, Angie Lloyd of Covington, Ind., sees a blank slate, to be painted with plants and flowers of all textures and colors.
Lloyd and her diverse team of volunteers are behind a number of recent beautification projects in Covington, most recently in the city park and outside the post office on Liberty Street.
“I love planting flowers, it makes me happy,” Lloyd said about her passion for gardening.
Lloyd came up with the idea to help others last spring, after she ran out of room for more flowers at her house, and gave some containers to the nursing home.
“I thought there were other people around town that can’t physically do it (gardening) themselves, and I love to donate my time,” she said.
Her friend Kevin Hembree, who’s been in a wheelchair since he was in a wreck three years ago, was first on her list of people to help. After doing another residential flower bed, Lloyd was asked to join forces with Green Minds Fountain County, an organization that promotes local, healthy living and has spearheaded several community clean-up projects in the past.
With the Green Minds partnership, more volunteers joined Lloyd on her quest to beautify Covington, and local officials noticed their efforts. When the group started eyeing the neglected planters in the city park, the Covington Community Foundation decided to contribute $300 toward plants, while the Covington Swim Club donated a dwarf burning bush.
“The entrance to the park is where everybody comes all summer long and we wanted it to look nice as a source of pride,” Kay Hunter of Green Minds said. “We get funds from a mixture of sources, some of it is donated and some of it comes out of our own pockets. All the labor is donated — but it’s a labor of love.”
For the park, Lloyd chose to buy perennials from Danville Gardens, figuring they would be lower maintenance than annuals. But each project is unique and when she goes shopping for plants, she lets the creative part of her brain be in charge.
“We usually make it up as we go, that’s the way I do it at my house. I know the experts say you have to have it planned out before you start, but that’s not how I do it,” Lloyd said.
High school students and Young Marines Tyler Coffing and Mariah Henk also were helping out with the park project.
“I really like the people; they’ve taught me a lot about planting,” Henk said about gardening with Green Minds. “It’s been really fun. I’ve learned what a perennial is.”
The two teenagers have participated in several projects to fulfill the community service hours that are required in the Young Marines organization. But both seemed to think that planting flowers is fun, rather than work.
Alinda Dickinson, a Green Minds member, said the beautification projects are a learning experience for everybody involved.
“We all contribute little tidbits of what we know. Every time we go out we learn something.”
With three new projects already lined up, and more constantly cropping up, the Green Minds gardening group is bound to stay busy. Lloyd, who is hoping to take a Master Gardener class this fall, said that doesn’t bother her one bit.
“A lot of times in the summer it stays light until 9 p.m. Some nights my husband doesn’t get dinner and sometimes he has to cook his own,” she said with a laugh.
If you need help with a gardening project or would like to donate your time, call Angie Lloyd at (765) 299-6650. The group also appreciates donations of plants and starts for their projects. For more information about Green Minds, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or look it up on Facebook.