Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gates Ajar is being planted

The Gates Ajar, located near Como Lake and the Lakeside Pavilion, have been planted for many years by the gardeners from the Conservatory. The Gates, representing the open gates to Heaven, have been planted in the same location for at least 80 years. The first gates were planted in 1894! It takes at least 100 hours of work to install all the cuttings of alternanthera and the plants of echeveria in the shapes of various Masonic symbols. The plantings must be watered at least twice a day, every day. A number of gardeners generally work at the gates daily, usually in May, to install the small plants. The frame of the gates is wire, mudded over with a moist soil mix. Tools are used to make a slanted hole that the small cuttings are slid into. The design is sketched into the mud and the plantings follow the outline.

There is still plenty of work to complete at the Gates before they are completed for this year. Take a few moments and wander over to the Como Lake area and admire this historical planting!