MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Mother Nature may take a toll on your garden, but COVID-19 and staffing shortages made it almost impossible to maintain city planters last year.
In 2021, folks driving through saw withered dead plants laying in the dozens of oval discs along Hancock Street.
Today, things look a lot different, thanks to a good idea and a lot of green thumbs.
Amanda Greene is with Milledgeville Mainstreet.
“I love my planter, I try to come down every single morning and water if needed,” she said proudly.
With a last name like Greene, you might figure she has a green thumb, and while that is true, it’s her noggin that managed to save downtown Milledgeville from the doldrums.
“We have adopted out all 52 of the planters in downtown Milledgeville,” she said.
We can’t make this up, but Southern Roots filled up some dirt, and now owner Crystal Ivey and her daughter Charley also have watering chores.
“I’ve got some sweet potato vine that will drape over," she described. “I love that everybody's is different and it makes such a difference downtown.”
Even if you don’t have a green thumb or you never come downtown, the plants are still a benefit to the taxpayers -- that’s because the city was spending thousands two times a year to fill them up with plants.
It’s a "win-win."
The city gets a pop of color in numerous spaces.
For spending some greenbacks, businesses get social advertising and a chance for the green thumb trophy that comes with Milly money.
“We’ve got the community out competing against each other and showing off their gardening skills,” Greene said.
“We have a lot of visitors to Milledgeville, and I think a lot of out-of-town people just want to come to someplace that’s pretty,” Crystal said.
And don’t forget bragging rights -- Crystal says she can’t contain herself if someone pauses and strikes a pose.
“Oh, yeah, if they take a picture in front of it, that’s even better,” she said.
It’s a picture-perfect solution to everyone having a stake in a magnificent Milledgeville.
The fire department plans to help out, too -- three times a week, they plan to water everything.
You can get a look at all of the planters this Saturday when Mainstreet Milledgeville hosts a community Bingo event.
It will happen at the Market Pavilion, rain or shine. The caller will start with the letters at 10 a.m.
Expect a lot of winners -- they will have 26 gift certificates to give out from local businesses.