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Businesses beautify downtown square
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Downtown businesses and beyond looked through colorful blooms and plants Tuesday to create the perfect arrangement to go in front of their storefronts as a part of an effort to beautify the downtown area.

Andrea Smith, with Square Perk Café, said the Main Street Covington Downtown Business Council coordinated with Mayfield Ace Hardware and the Newton College and Career Academy’s horticulture department to help businesses plant fresh flowers and plants.

Lee Mayfield, owner of Mayfield Ace Hardware, drove a truck with an attached trailer full of pre-ordered flowers on the square.

Business owners looked through the arrangements, made their selections with the help of Mayfield Hardware staff, and then paid for their selected plants.

After business owners decided which plants and flowers they wanted, NCCA students helped carry the plants, flowers and bags of soil to each of the businesses.

Students used their skills learned in Kelly Smith’s horticulture class, to arrange and plant the business owners’ plants in pots outside of their stores and businesses.

Smith said the idea of having Mayfield on the square and the help of the NCCA horticulture students was to remove any hassles business owners usually face when trying to beautify their store fronts with flowers and plants.

“As a business owner, I know that it takes time, it takes money and you know, I don’t know if the plant is going to survive there, and that kind of stuff,” Smith said. “What we eliminated was that you don’t have to go shopping for them; you’ve got [a] little bit of expertise to help you, and then the students have even offered, for some of the ones who need it, to physically go plant flowers for them.

“This eliminates the hassle of going to shop for flowers, not knowing what to plant where, how to take care of them or even the physical exertion of planting them yourself,” she said.

Smith said more than 20 businesses were signed up to participate in gathering flowers for their store fronts.

She said she believed the flower planting done on Tuesday could lead to a new tradition for the downtown businesses to beautify the square for everyone’s enjoyment.

“This is a very low cost way to freshen up the entrance to your store and show passersby that you are proud of your store,” Smith said.

“Nothing says welcome like the friendly faces of beautiful flowers outside your door.”