Welcome to the Louisville Zoo's Horticulture Area
A message from Horticulture Manager William Nay
If you think the Zoo’s horticulture department hibernates in the fall and winter like most of their foliage, think again. This time of year is actually one of the busiest times of the year for the Zoo’s horticulture department.
Fall is when all annual flower beds are stripped of old flower stems and put to bed (prepared) for winter. Hanging baskets that were draped with flowers all summer long will be emptied and stored for next season and large tropical container plants scattered throughout the Zoo will be placed in the greenhouse until next season. Canna flowers, located around the Buffalo Sculpture and the HerpAquarium, will be cut back to ground level to resprout again next year. And last, but not least, falling leaves will be gathered up along pathways and mulched up by lawnmowers in open lawn areas.
As fall turns into winter, leaf pick up will continue as well as trimming back ornamental grasses, eradicating invasive plants and dressing up beds with a fresh coat of mulch readying for spring.
The horticulture department is also on standby incase inclement weather arises. Last year, more than 3,000 yards of brush were hauled away along with lots of trees due to the ice storm.
Even though fall and winter is filled with a lot of foliage cleanup and cutback, the Zoo still has a number of winter plants for you to appreciate. So come out, stretch your legs and visit. The Zoo is open year round, only closing three days a year (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day).
About William Nay
Will is a graduate Oldham County High School and received his bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Eastern Kentucky University.
The Horticulture department is going green. This past summer staff has started using two new products that are much greener than some of the older ones. We now use a chainsaw bar oil lubricant that is called BioPlus Oil manufactured by STIHL. It has a vegetable oil base and decomposes almost entirely within 21 days making it less harmful to plants, animals, and us. STIHL also has a product called Stihl HP Ultra 2-Cycle Engine Oil. It too decomposes within 21 days and offers great lubrication since it is a synthetic oil.
The Horticulture and Maintenance departments have teamed up to recycle metal products over the past year. All efforts so far have resulted in almost 18,000 pounds or 9 tons of various types of metal being recycled.