Courthouse landscaping design unveiled

By Vicki Hyatt | May 01, 2013
Several commissioners expressed a preference for this plan, noting its simplicity would allow more room on the courthouse lawn for Main Street festival and event activities.

CLYDE — The Haywood County Board of Commissioners examined three proposed designs for new courthouse landscaping at a Tuesday night work session.

The board narrowed the choice down to two design choices. One includes raised beds for flowers and seasonal plants, along with six Yoshimo cherry that line the sidewalk to the front courthouse doors. The other has no beds and a single Yoshimo cherry on either side of the front lawn.

All the designs include a sugar maple tree in a large, grassy area between the Historic Courthouse and the Justice Center, dogwood trees in the grassy area on the courthouse lawn facing Depot Street and a Serbian spruce tree toward the front of the lawn between the courthouse and Justice Center.

The spruce, said Tim Matthews, county extension agent, is one that is “less scraggly” than many varieties and won’t grow as wide.

Dwarf Nandina bushes will provide year-around color and all the plans call for six benches lining the front sidewalk to the courthouse entrance.

County Manager Marty Stamey said the idea is for the spruce to serve as a holiday tree on which lights will be strung at Christmas.

While one plan would offer more color, trees and plants, the more simple plan would provide for a larger gathering space on the courthouse lawn for street festivals and Main Street events.

The landscape designs were drawn up by a committee of individuals in the county with expertise or interest in the outcome. Committee members included Jonathan Yates, horticulturist with town of Waynesville; Bill Skelton with Haywood County Extension Service director; Tim Matthews, certified arborist with the county extension office; Dwayne Vigil, N.C. Forest Service supervisor; Buffy Phillips, director of Downtown Waynesville Association; Sherri Rogers, county register of deeds, Julie Davis, county finance director, Dale Burris, county maintenance director, County Commission Chairman Swanger and County Manager Marty Stamey. George Thomas, director of Haywood Community College horticulture program and HCC students will help plant the landscaping.

The cost of the landscaping has been nominal, Stamey said, as most of the work is being done by county maintenance employees and the landscaping material is being donated. Relocating the flagpole to coincide with flag etiquette will cost about $4,500, he said.

The issue will be discussed at the next next county commissioner meeting, set for 9 a.m. May 6.