Courthouse magnolia

The Leflore County Courthouse may lose one of the four magnolia trees along Market Street under a grounds management plan presented by members of the Greenwood Garden Club.

The Greenwood Garden Club will manage changes in and maintenance of the landscaping surrounding the Leflore County Courthouse, starting with cutting down one of the four magnolia trees along Market Street.

At the request of the Leflore County Board of Supervisors, Garden Club member Debby Cooper and club President Cyndi Long assessed the landscaping needs of the courthouse and made recommendations of where to begin.

First, they recommended removing some roses and other flowering perennials, such as pink daisies.

“They’re just really kind of messy in this kind of a setting,” Cooper said. “I think we need more foundation shrubs that are in scale with the building.” She said she discussed with courthouse maintenance workers steps to take to remove the unwanted plants.

“The most controversial thing would be removing the magnolia that is closest to the steps outside,” Cooper said. “... A landscape architect mentioned to me it was too close to the sidewalk and too close to the building. You can’t really see the building. They mentioned it’s also a safety hazard because the lights that come on at night can’t shine onto the courthouse steps.”

Cooper recommended that the county get a professional lawn care company to spray the grounds. She had input from Cliff Sanders, who also recommended mowing the grass a little higher.

The last recommendations from the garden club were to regularly pick up limbs off the lawn, kill ants, and prune shrubs and bushes. They also want a stump from a former courthouse Christmas tree removed.

The garden club will break the project into phases, with the first phase the entrance to the courthouse, and present plans and costs to the supervisors to determine if something needs to go out for bid.

District 1 Supervisor Sam Abraham asked if Chancery Clerk Christine Lymon would call the state Department of Archives and History to make sure the county doesn’t need permission to cut down the magnolia. “As far as I’m concerned, I agree 100%. That tree is in the way,” he said.

“The building is so beautiful, you want people to see it,” Cooper said.

Contact Gavin Maliska at 581-7235 or

(1) comment

Hal Fiore

Front page article about landscaping the courthouse and not a word about, maybe, planning for the Civil Rights monument that's been promised for years. Might want to include that in the list of things to consider, ladies.

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