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Mill Mountain wildflower garden reopens after major renovation

Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 7:49 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Mill Mountain Garden Club created its wildflower garden 50 years ago. And on Earth Day 2021, members of the group turned out to celebrate a major renovation.

“It’s just such a source of pride that our garden club can be responsible for the maintenance and creation of this garden,” said garden club member Jane Coulter. “It’s a mountaintop oasis.”

New trails meander through the two and a half acres. A cascading pond replaces an old water feature. There is a stump jump for the kids.

But the stars of the show are the flowering plants, including yellow lady slippers, trillium and red columbine, to name a few.

Art Garst is the landscape artist who re-imagined and re-planted the wildflower garden.

“700 to 800 plants in the ground, from trees, shrubs and mostly flowering things,” Garst told us. “And there are year-round blooms throughout this garden.”

The hundreds of hours Art Garst and volunteers devoted to the project also reclaimed the views that were blocked by invasive species, including bush honeysuckle.

“It really is an important part of our parks system,” said Michael Clark, director of Roanoke Parks and Recreation. “And we really hope more folks will come and see it.”

With many of the trees and wildflowers in bloom, there’s plenty to see and appreciate right now. But it’s only going to get better as the plants mature over the next few years.

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