Throughout the Memphis Zoo are perennial beds. These are
plants that will return year after year, go dormant, or are foundation
plantings such as trees and large shrubs. During the winter months,
Horticulture is busy making improvements to these perennial beds. The
Tortoise/Azalea bed was recently given an update. It is located to the left of
the Tortoise yard. It began as a few azalea shrubs and iris plants. The site is
very shady under cypress trees.
The azaleas were dug up and set aside. Iris tubers were
removed from the bed to be used elsewhere. The rest of the plant material was
tilled under. To improve the soil, leaf mold compost was added to the area to a
depth of two inches. The compost was tilled to a depth of six to eight inches.
After that, the soil was raked smooth.
This bed is part of the older section of the zoo. The plants
to be added to the bed had to tolerate deep shade. After careful consideration,
the following were chosen: oak leaf hydrangea, leather leaf mahonia, cleyera,
Nandina, ferns, Florida anise, and azaleas. These were laid out in a pleasant
fashion to draw your eye to the wall of eleagnus further down the road. After
planting, the bed was mulched. Now as you walk toward the Round Barn, Aquarium,
and Once Upon a Farm, you can enjoy a pleasant experience. Enjoy your day at