Plant materials for the medians are grown by the City of Des Moines Parks Department, and DMWW provides the labor to install and care (weeding, watering, and pruning) for the plantings.
Maintenance of the median flowerbeds is no easy chore, as three bed change-outs are done every year! In the early spring, the beds are tilled and the perennials are cut back. In mid May, approximately 35,000 assorted annuals are planted in the medians. Those beds are maintained until approximately September 1, when the annuals are removed and replaced with a fall display of mums, kale and pansies. After the first hard frost, the fall display items are removed, the beds are prepared and approximately 70,000 tulip bulbs are planted which remain dormant until the spring when they start blooming.
Safety is always the primary focus for employees working on Fleur Drive (or any street, for that matter). To protect those working in the medians, traffic cones and signs are set up to divert vehicles from the lanes closest to the medians. The last several years the plantings have been done on Sundays when there is less traffic on Fleur Drive.
During the summer months, approximately 30 hours per week are required to water the median plants. DMWW’s Vehicle Maintenance and Fabrication Shop employees fabricated a water truck with a nozzle that allows the driver to water the plants without getting out of the truck. Not only is that safer than standing in the medians, it has reduced the watering time in half.
We hope you enjoy the beautiful plantings along Fleur Drive.