Maryellen Swanson (left) and Diane Pryor, partners at The Potted Garden, pose next to one of their completed pots. They finished all 34 planters this past week. Photo by Sarah Radmer
Maryellen Swanson (left) and Diane Pryor, partners at The Potted Garden, pose next to one of their completed pots. They finished all 34 planters this past week. Photo by Sarah Radmer
The 34 planters in Magnolia village just got an upgrade, funded by the merchants and residents of the neighborhood.

Maryellen Swanson first approached the Magnolia community in March, proposing that her business, The Potted Garden, redo the planters, which were dead, overgrown and full of trash.

Initially, Magnolia Chamber of Commerce president Heather Ussery had hoped the chamber would be able to secure a grant from the city to pay for it. Board members are still working on securing the grant for other projects, but they were able to get people to come forward in the meantime and sponsor the pots at $100 each. That money all goes directly to redoing and maintaining the pots.

Starting last week and finishing this Monday, April 14, Swanson and her assistant, Diane Pryor, a Magnolia resident, trimmed the existing plants and added new foliage and flowers. They have focused on planting perennials, which will be more economical, Swanson said.

Swanson and Pryor have also been cleaning up the curb areas along the village corridor. The Potted Garden has offered a special to nearby businesses for their different gardens and plantings.

The community is ecstatic, Pryor said. They’ve had people stop by to comment on the improved planters as they walked by.

“Magnolia village is such a beautiful place,” Swanson said. “It’s so nice to have plants that match.”

The chamber always has more ideas for beautification efforts, Ussery said, but it doesn’t have any other concrete plans yet.

“Everyone’s been saying they look nice,” Ussery said, adding that she thanks everyone who supported the effort with their donations.

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