BY LORI ILLNER GREENE
President Potowonok Circle
FORT MADISON – Potowonok Circle of Kings Daughters, long known for their charitable causes, scholarships, and adopt-a-family program is now adopting gardens. Well, just one garden to be specific. The garden around the flagpole in Riverview Park, just beyond the memorial as you enter the park along the river in Fort Madison. But it felt like two gardens from the start – the before and now the after.
We adopted this garden sight unseen at our meeting in May. It must have been the sun, the fresh air, and the great feeling we all had coming all together for the first-time post Covid. Savanna Collier, one of our members, shared the news that the City was looking for organizations and individuals to take on garden projects. We were in! Just a few words of discussion and then Savanna was instructed to SIGN US UP! We are can-do women after all! It sounded like a perfect way for us to help the community. We didn’t question the state the garden would be in…
The gardening was supposed to last a few hours on one day. That all changed rather quickly. All we could see is clover. LOTS of clover. It filled the space and had overtopped most of the perennials. After starting to pull everything that didn’t seem like it belonged, we found sedum, and daylilies that ringed the flagpole. Then some clumps of taller and unidentified plants that sort of imbalanced the space. We had to bring in help to accomplish all that needed to be done.
Kate Lamb, the organizer of the group and the person driving this project forward, called Larry Smith, husband to member Carolyn Smith. Larry agreed to bring down a tiller and went to work on the areas we had already pulled. Carolyn and I just kept pulling weeds. Jan Randolph, ran to the Partners Office to get some round-up left over from City clean-up day. After helping to spray down large sections of the clover, she began arrangements to get plants and mulch for the future to-be-determined planting date. JoAnn Lampe called to have the piles of weeds hauled away by the City. And that was just the first day.
A few more days were spent in the garden pulling, tiling, and planting. Along with many trips down by the members who agreed to be on the regular watering crew and it now looks
beautiful! A fitting display to ring the flag pole and a visible contribution to our community that we can be proud of.