Fall decorations abound in Old Town

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

Helena’s Beautification Board is once again adding festive character and seasonal color to our Old Town area.

Recently at The Caboose, board members gathered to arrange a backdrop of select pumpkins and gourds, hay bales, mums and scarecrow decorations to create a spot where our families can gather and take their own fall photos.

Chris Van Cleve, Brian Puckett, Gennetter Smith, Peggy Holly, Ana McDonald Baker of the Helena Beautification Board were on hand early on October 15 to create this photo backdrop display at The Caboose in Old Town. (Contributed)

Chris Van Cleve, Brian Puckett, Gennetter Smith, Peggy Holly, Ana McDonald Baker of the Helena Beautification Board were on hand early on October 15 to create this photo backdrop display at The Caboose in Old Town. (Contributed)

“Mr. Graves at Alabama Farmer’s Market on Finley Avenue provided these amazing pumpkins and gourds,” Ana McDonald Baker pointed out. “He delivered this huge box to our work area, as well.”

Chris Van Cleve, new board member Brian Puckett, Gennetter Smith, Peggy Holly, Ana McDonald Baker and Shawn Miller were on hand early to create the display, then moved on to tidy and clean up beds throughout the city and plant Earth-Kind Roses.

“This program is a part of our ongoing efforts to create a sustainable streetscape in Helena,” explained Van Cleve. “’New Dawn,’ ‘Climbing Pinkie,’ ‘Duchese De Brabant,’ and ‘Mutabilis’ are the varieties we have. They are easy-care, hardy and require no chemical use.”

Earth-Kind is a special designation given to select rose cultivars by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service through the Earth-Kind landscaping program. It is based on the results of extensive research and field trials and is awarded only to those roses demonstrating superior pest tolerance, combined with outstanding landscape performance.

Whether a particular rose cultivar is worthy of receiving the prestigious Earth-Kind designation is, on average, based on eight years of research and field trial data.

Specifically, this long-term, labor-intensive process features four years of randomized, replicated research at Texas A&M AgriLife Center – Dallas in which plants were evaluated and data collected by a team of seven people with doctorates, which included horticulturists, plant pathologists, a soil scientist and an entomologist.

Make your way to The Caboose soon. Ron Holly, also known as Major Dundee, offers coffee on Saturday mornings. Helena is blessed with unique charm and citizens who care!