Bringing spring to Niles

Published 9:42 pm Friday, April 15, 2005

By By RANDI K. PICKLEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The Ladies of the Niles Garden Club donned garden gloves and sun visors to spend the morning at Donovan-Smith Park in Niles last Thursday.
Donovan-Smith Park is the grassy V-shaped area that separates the traffic lanes on 11th Street just before it intersects with Main Street. There is a large "Welcome To Niles" sign displayed among the landscaping there, which is cared for by the garden club.
They were doing a little spring clean-up in preparation for their annual plant sale. After weeding out the plant debris from winter, members of the club separated bulbs and dug up over-crowded plants to place them in pots for their upcoming sale.
The pots will be sold on Saturday, May 14, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the front court of the Fort St. Joseph Museum at 508 E. Main St. in Niles to raise money for future Garden Club projects.
According to Carol Noid, a member of the club for the past five years and chairperson of their Arbor Day committee, the cost for potted plants will be three for $10 or one for $4. "It's a pretty good buy," she said.
Plants from the park include daylilies which have been hybridized, black-eyed Susans, iris, seedhams, and shrubs. They will be divided into categories of sun and shade loving plants.
In addition to the plant sale, the Niles Garden Club has planted a tree at one of the community schools every year since 1998 to celebrate Arbor Day. This year Niles High School has been selected to receive the tree, which Hunziker's Landscaping donates.
According to both Noid and Clough, the tree of choice has always been a serviceberry tree, or Amelanchier canadensis by its scientific name.
They chose that species because, as Noid said, "It's one of the earliest flowering trees and it's fairly hardy.
A bit of advice came from both ladies about newly planted trees. "They need intensive watering until they're rooted," Noid said.
Nancy Clough, also on the Arbor Day committee, added, "And the location is important, too. But watering is the most important thing, almost daily for a while."
The tree planting will take place on Thursday, April 28 at the school at 1:30 p.m.. The students in Mrs. McDaniel's science class will assist with the planting.