Downtown planter box project is part of Ashland's beautification plans

Ashland's downtown planter boxes are in the midst of a makeover.

The dozen planter boxes, which border major intersections along Main Street, are marked off with stakes and fluorescent ribbon.

City workers are excavating dirt and working on irrigation systems in preparation for adding new plants that will bring year-long color to the downtown, according to plans by locally based Covey Pardee Landscape Architects.

New ground cover plants, ornamental grasses, shrubs and azaleas could be planted as early as this month, said city of Ashland Management Analyst Ann Seltzer.

The makeover of the downtown planters is part of a range of improvements meant to spruce up the downtown.

Business representatives came to Ashland City Council in the spring of 2012 to make the case that downtown was becoming run-down in a variety of ways.

They pointed out that the dirt in the planter boxes had become compressed, the boxes were minimally or poorly planted, and there was no cohesive design for the plantings, Seltzer said.

Changes since then have included the planter-box makeover project, a major reconstruction of the downtown Plaza, new garbage cans with domed lids and removal of a pay phone.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or

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