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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Park created

  • Local couple works with landscape company to create park.
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  • People who regularly travel on East Independence Street between Harrison and Union have probably wondered what was being developed on the south side of the Plaza East office complex. Now we have the answer: David and Dana Taylor worked with Complete Landscape to create The Plaza East Labyrinth Park.
     
    The expansively landscaped area includes many shrubs and plants that are low maintenance, attractive and bring a sense of well being beside a heavily traveled street. A labyrinth is an integral part of the landscaped area.
     
    According to the website of The Labyrinth Society “a labyrinth is a design with a single path (unicursal) that leads to the center and back out again. They are generally used as a tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation through contemplative walking. Labyrinths are thought to enhance right brain activity and invite relaxation, offering an opportunity for centering the body/mind/spirit. The labyrinth is often viewed as a metaphor for the path we walk in life and therefore may provide a time and space for personal reflection on life issues.”
     
    The park is bordered with Oklahoma river rock and a number of large boulders. The labyrinth path is formed by finely crushed packed stone and outlined with small river stones. Pink and maroon Chrysanthemums and white Pansies with purple splotches provide color to the landscape.
     
    Several large Variegated Flax Lily plants add interest to the south part of the garden and are accompanied by a number Yucca plants. The northern part of the garden is planted with Chinese Privet whose leaves have yellow and green veins. Indian Hawthorn bushes fill the space west of the privet near the roses. Several Knock Out® roses in this bed and against the building will provide lots of color next spring. Perennial fountain grasses are spaced through the park, particularly in the part of the garden that is near the street. A massed planting of Mondo Grass is a contrast to the Variegated Flax Lilies.
     
    Cleyera shrubs are planted on the east side of the garden. The leaves of these evergreen shrubs are bronze when they are new and gradually turn dark green. After a freeze some of them may turn bronze also. This plant, if not pruned, will grow to about 10 feet tall and several feet wide. It is a good choice to screen the parking lot to the east. Cleyera is a native of Japan and is sometimes confused with Redtip Photenia.
     
    To really appreciate this park you need to park your car in the lot and see the plantings up close. If you feel so inclined, walk the labyrinth while you are there.
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