BUTLER (KDKA) — The rumble of tractors and scent of petunias made for a busy Wednesday, at Gumto Greenhouses in Butler. Row after row of blooms in baskets rolled onto company trucks for the journey to Pittsburgh.
Some 15 hours later, the fifty pound baskets are unloaded at a temporary stop on Grant Street. Greenhouse owner Erich Gumto says it’s one of many cooperative projects.
“We’ve been partnering over 20 years with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, not only in the flower baskets projects but also the community gardens projects, and also the big planters that are on the city streets.”
A total of 560 baskets. Eighteen flowers in each basket. That roughly comes out to 10,000 flowers. Most will stay downtown, with the remainder going to surrounding neighborhoods. A favorite destination is the Three Sisters Bridges.
Art Demeo, of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, says the primary flower is a two-color petunia.
“We also have in there geraniums and begonia. And then some sweet potato. The sweet potato is the kind of thing that trails down. And the geranium and begonia kind of add accent.”
He says it’s nice to look at the baskets and know he played a part in the summer beautification.
“Unfortunately though, I’m always looking for the one that doesn’t look that good.”
They’ll hang through the first week in October, or longer if the Pirates bloom at the right time and make the playoffs.
The annual project is made possible by a generous grant from the Laurel Foundation.