Next time you give a back-hand slap at the bee buzzing around on a patio or deck, you might want to remember that about one-third of everything man eats is pollinated by a bee. "Bees are pretty wonderful things," said Ginny Word, a Floyd County master gardener who spoke to Keep Rome Floyd Beautiful and Rome-Tree Board members at Chieftains Museum.
Word, whose presentation was tied to National Pollinators Week, June 19-25, said her vision is to create a pollinators walk along the river from the Rome-Floyd County Library out to Chieftains Museum. "We have it almost naturally now," Word said.
The Chieftains Demonstration Garden, developed in conjunction with the Floyd County Master Gardeners, has already been designated as a site along the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail. Butterflies, like bees, are pollinators.
"We still have a lot of work to do to expand the pollinator garden," Word said.
"If we had five or six more stops along the walk we would have even more people interested in it," Word said. Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful Director Mary Hardin Thornton said the garden in front of the Rome-Floyd ECO Center could also be targeted for designation on the trail.
An effort to have Rome designated as a "Bee City" is just a matter of getting a formal resolution from the City Commission and submission of a final application.
Word said volunteers have worked for the last three years, using documents related to the Chieftain Museum/Major Ridge Home, to re-create and demonstrate for visitors much of the original plantings on what was at one time a 200-plus acre plantation. Plum, fig, peach, cherry apple, quince trees and 10 different types of blueberry bushes have been planted around the museum to represent the various orchards that Major Ridge had on his land 200 years ago.
The demonstration garden includes four distinct areas including a kitchen bed, a medicinal bed, an area with native plants and a commercial bed.
Read this story online for a link to the Chieftains Museum website and to see a map of the museum.