Everything’s Coming Up Blooms

MORRO BAY The Bloomies, better known as Morro Bay in Bloom, have been busy and here is a recap of 2018 and goals for 2019 from Walter Heath.

Volunteers: Numbers increased in 2018 and the level of commitment increased, too. Goals for 2019 are to involve other civic groups to participate in one two-hour session. Heath hopes some volunteers attend the America in Bloom Symposium on Oct. 3-6 in St. Charles, Ill. See visitstcharles.com.

Downtown Planter Boxes: Greater than 900 plants were installed by 22 volunteers. Eighteen unique volunteer box “adapters” care for one box on a weekly basis. New plant arrangements will be installed in March, August, and November.

Morro Bay Boulevard Roundabout: Ten planting beds were worked on in 2018. Thick mulch was applied to reduce weeds and the two largest beds adjacent to the traffic circle were re-planted. Invasive Pampas grass was removed with help from Terry Simons and his mini-Kubota. The group celebrated their accomplishments by producing two large fall displays of flowers, pumpkins, ornamental kale, straw bales and scarecrows in the traffic circle. Goals for 2019 are to put roses in the traffic circle, rehabilitate six more beds, plant and maintain them with occasional help from City maintenance staff.

Hot Coral Geraniums at Beach and Front Streets: The geranium beds were planted in memory of Kay Crocker in May 2017 and have become a landmark. Visitors from all over the world stop and remark on them. The conversations volunteers have with locals and visitors remind us how much fun gardening for an audience can be. 2019 goal: More care (and appreciation) of this amazing area.

Visitor Center: The garden at the Visitor Center is filling in with succulents and flowering native plants in most parts. During their visit, the America in Bloom judging team brought out their cameras to photograph the plants confirming the group’s dedication to this project. Drip irrigation repair is being installed with assistance from City staff. 2019 Goals: Build soil structure by producing and adding compost (your donation would help to purchase a large composting system), then keep planting until all beds are filled with native pollinator plants.

Juvenile Street Trees: Ed Boies and Chuck Stoll irrigate 27 juvenile street trees every two weeks if there’s been no rain. Thomas Kessler and Don Fischer also help. 2019 Goals: Conduct a two-hour session to pull weeds in all 27 tree wells this spring. Work with City staff to have a community tree-planting event and renew our Tree City USA designation.

Greenhouse: City staff produced a preliminary site plan for a greenhouse and two bocce courts at the corner of Shasta and Dunes Streets. The greenhouse will facilitate new active-adults programming for folks whose gardening opportunities are limited and will give Morro Bay in Bloom space to propagate plants for the public landscape. 2019 Goal: This is part of our overall $10,000 fundraising goal.

Downtown Tree Lighting: Morro Bay in Bloom, along with Lions’ Club, Rotary Club, and Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce, successfully applied for a grant from City of Morro Bay Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) that will cover the cost of professional light installation on some red-flowering eucalyptus street trees in downtown. 2019 Goal: Flip the switch on!

Centennial Parkway: A new planting bed was put in near the giant chessboard storage shed. The brush was cleared, and a new bed was planted showing hues of yarrow. Thanks to City staff, our rainwater-harvesting system is fully operational and pumping water through the drip-irrigation system. 2019 Goals: Plant a succulent and yarrow garden in the beds by the public dock seating areas. Work with community groups and CMB staff to spruce up the benches and tables.

Bike Park: Red ‘Dallas’ variety lantana was planted at the front fence line and with cardboard mulch helps conquer weeds. The “Jurassic Corner” succulent garden is maturing. 2019 Goal: Plant a pollinator garden behind the spectator area at the top of the bike courses.

While some funds are available from the City of Morro Bay through the Adopt Morro Bay program, there is always need for more.

Businesses can have their logo placed on the Morro Bay in Bloom equipment trailer for $250 and individuals can have their name added to the “President’s Club” roster on the back door. You can help with your check made payable to Morro Bay in Bloom and mail it to P.O. Box 782, Morro Bay, CA 93443. You can donate online to www.morrobayinbloom.com.


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