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home : opinions : your opinions December 17, 2014


1/22/2014 1:09:00 PM
Time to end weedy Main Street island
Marilyn Saffert, Rice Lake

I am a big fan of flowers whether they are wildflowers, old-fashioned heirloom flowers or newly invented cultivars. Love them all. They all have an important function and place in our world.
OK, here comes the gripe. We have watched the weedy island on the north end of Rice Lake's Main Street struggle for a few years, and now I think it's time to move on. I was told that this small boulevard island was originally set up to be a lesson for landowners of lakeside property. This experimental island would showcase the many types of native plants that could be planted along the lakeshore instead of a heavily fertilized grass lawn. And I agree with this concept.
The plants used in this experiment were familiar plants like goldenrod, white daisies and wild asters. Local people see them all the time in uncultivated fields, hedgerows along the fence lines, and roadway ditches in Barron County. When others would ask me how I felt about this newly planted experiment, I would say that I'm willing to wait and see how it goes. Like they say, "The first year the plants sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap."
Maybe it did have the possibility of being something nice for Rice Lake to be proud of. Well, maybe not. Visitors who come off Hwy. 53 into Rice Lake and head down to Main Street ask many of us, "What is the reason for that patch of weeds?
As a Barron County Master Gardener and a member of the Rice Lake Area Garden Club, I certainly love all types of flowers, but maybe it's time to rethink the plantings on this prominent area in our proud city of Rice Lake.

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