Curb Appeal: The Beauty of Pinehurst
By Anita B. Stone
Special to The Pilot
When driving past the Carolina Hotel, nestled in Pinehurst in the Sandhills of North Carolina, one can only imagine how much work and time must be involved in the horticultural realm of originality and maintenance.
Founded in 1895 and purchased at about one dollar per acre of 5,500 acres, Pinehurst Resort, a historic jewel, boasts three hotels, eight golf courses, a spa and extensive sports and leisure facilities within the beauty of curb appeal in a green landscape.
Grounds superintendent Chris Burrows, his assistant, Chris Jones, and a crew of 12 workers maintain between 115 to 120 acres of lush landscape surrounding the area.
Having begun as a crew member in 1996, Burrows worked his way to the position of foreman.
"Then from 1997 to 1999, I attended Sandhills Community College and got my associate degree in landscape," says Burrows.
Since 2001 Burrows has overseen several locations throughout the property.
"We have several spots we manage through the resort," he says. "It's everything from the Member's Club to the Tennis Club, The Holly, The Manor and The Beach Club, to mention a few. Our attention to detail reflects on us and the resort as a whole."
As with all landscapes, the weather plays a major role in the planting, growing and maintenance of green spaces. When the weather turns bad, the time elements of growing become strained and changed.
"We grow a lot of self-contained plants which give us the opportunity to do what we want," Burrows says. "Thousands of bulbs are planted for spring color."
Outdoor plantings are done twice yearly - in the spring and fall seasons. Within a 17,000-square-foot greenhouse the crew grows annuals from plugs. Three greenhouse workers labor with 125,000 to 138,000 plugs each year.
During the spring season, there is a palette of plants such as impatiens, begonias, coleus, elephant ears and annual vinca. With a combination of clay and sand, the crew amends annuals with potting soil and nursery mix.
"We also plant items such as azaleas and liriope," says Burrows. "During the fall, we plant a mass of colorful pansies - offering a lot of color with choices from small violets to majestic giants in all colors and all sizes. The flower beds offer a lot of color to the landscape."
The grounds crew works from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during the busiest times.
"During winter we slow down," says Burrows. "There is also a production side of the greenhouse, which houses evergreen plants that are used inside the interiors and for decorative purposes. With 60,000 square feet of indoor gathering space, the interior areas can be filled with focus, fern and philodendron as well as bromeliads and aglonema. The colorful greenery is selected and used as interior decorations in public spaces and in lobbies.
"When there is a special event we decorate the room with a variety of plants," Burrows says.
Burrows also likes to plant ornamental grasses for the winter.
"This gives winter interest during the drab time," he says. "We maintain 11 acres of ornamentals. We buy the ornamentals from Poverty Hill. Container plants are purchased from Reeves Nursery."
Fifteen acres of turf require a good deal of care and maintenance.
"We use Bermuda and fescue," says Burrows. "The Bermuda is used in the sunny areas, and the fescue in the shady sections. We fertilize, aerate and overseed with tall fescue. Bermuda is overseeded with perennial rye. The irrigation system runs once or twice nightly after 1 a.m.
"With the busy traffic during the daytime hours, we try to wait until everyone is off the grounds before we run the system," he says. "The turf gets one inch of water weekly. We fertilize different times of the year and use a pre-emergent."
Understandably Pinehurst has a great deal of curb appeal with its lush grasses and colorful foliage, plants, perennials and annuals for tourists and the community to enjoy the green, environmentally stable landscape.
Pinehurst Resort will welcomes the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women's Open in 2014.
Contact Raleigh writer Anita Stone at email@example.com.
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