Peacock in the Park

 There’s a peacock in the park.

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These are the two guys that make sure the floral peacock is placed in the park each spring. Mike, on the left, is in his late 70’s and has been putting the big bird up for the last 25 years. Don, on the right, is his protege. Both are master gardeners.


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Day one: The peacock begins with a metal frame, burlap and landscape fabric, bags and bags of soil and large pieces of Styrofoam. You can see the volunteers stuffing the center with Styrofoam, with the soil filling out the burlap and landscape fabric along the outside of the frame. You just have to think of the peacock as a giant container for planted flowers.


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At the end of day one, the bird has its shape and is ready for the flowers, even though the body is separate from the head.



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Day two: Many, many flats of wax begonias are used to cover the body and head. At this point, they are still in 2 pieces; it’s easier to plant the head while it’s on the ground. Later, city employees bring a “cherrypicker” or a lift, and place the head on the body. It’s just too heavy to be lifted by people.




Day three: This is the day when volunteers gather to fill the park with lovely bedding flowers. Since Kalamazoo is considered one of the top producers of bedding plants, it is the goal of Kalamazoo in Bloom, a nonprofit organization, to honor this industry by filling the county with beautiful flower displays.



One of the many volunteers helping beautify the downtown park.



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On the third day, the master gardeners plant the tail. The weather is perfect for planting.


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Finally finished. The peacock is in the park for the rest of the summer. MSU, the agricultural college here in Michigan, asked for the plans to build their own peacock at the entrance to their display and trial gardens. But because they have less room their tail is smaller and is on flat instead of sloped ground. Ours looks better.

 me and peacock

A popular spot for photos, especially wedding shots.

Remember, you can click on the photos for a closer view.


About Jill-O

a girl who likes lakes, trees and critters; making an attempt at living the artistic life.
This entry was posted in community, flowers, gardening, Michigan, spring and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Peacock in the Park

  1. Joy says:

    Hi Jill ! Great picture girl : )
    I love that you captured the peacock from beginning to end with the pictures .. I haven’t seen one done like this before .. it is wonderful : )

  2. Cathy says:

    Wow! that is really pretty, Never seen anything like that before, and nice photos!

  3. jellyfishbay says:

    I think this is somewhat unique to the U.S. The story is, that one of our local master gardeners, while traveling Europe saw a peacock like ours in a German town. He was so taken by it, that he tracked down the bird’s designer and bought the plans, with the thought that this would look wonderful in our little downtown park. He and Mike had the metal frame built and plants and soil donated by the local greenhouses.

  4. RainGardener says:

    That is so neat. You even showed the pile of empties! I’d like to see it in person! But guess the picture will have to do!

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