Bed of lisianthus in full bloom at the Richmond Memorial Library
If you drive down Ross Street past the Richmond Memorial Library, you are likely to spot a full and beautiful bed of flowers along the driveway leading to the library entrance.
The flowers -- lisianthus -- are a gift of Nancy Mortellaro, who started buying and donating the plants to the library's garden four years ago. Billy Truitt has volunteered each year to plant the flowers and help tend to them.
"I think they’re gorgeous," Mortellaro said. "They look like roses. They’re gorgeous and they last a long, long, long time in a vase."
Mortellaro buys the seedlings from Aaron Harrington Byron. She also grows them at her own house and at the community garden. The plants at the community garden can be used to replace any at the library that fail to flourish.
Truitt said he doesn't remember the flowers producing as many blooms as this season.
Lisianthus grows as an annual in the Northeast but is a perennial on the Southern Plains and Northern Mexico, where it's known as Prairie gentian or Texas bluebell.