Broomfield’s Flower Lady Keeps City Colorful, Vibrant
Jul 02, 2019 03:37PM
By Megan Eichner
If you have ever seen and admired the beautiful flower displays around Broomfield, then you have noticed the work of Debra Pfaff. She is known to many as “The Flower Lady” of Broomfield, and she is responsible for creating and maintaining the beautiful flower displays around the city, which total 75 flower beds and 74 planters for this year. As the senior horticulture technician for the parks department, Debra is responsible for the maintenance of the landscaping features throughout the year.
In the spring, she prepares all of the beds for planting to eventually create the beautiful summer displays. During the summer months, her duties include maintaining the flower beds and planters, planning new landscapes, and renovating older landscapes. After the vibrant summer season, she removes the annual flowers and replaces them with pansies and spring bulbs to extend the colors into the cooler season. Even in the winter when there are no flowers to tend to, Debra is hard at work planning new flower beds arrangements for the upcoming spring, as well as performing winter maintenance on perennial beds. Along with these duties, she is also responsible for landscape contract projects and shrub replacement programs. Debra said her daily duties, “change throughout the season according to the needs of the bed and planters, as well as the new landscape around the city.”
Debra uses her wealth of knowledge and experience to plan the displays in the flower bed annually. She has been responsible for design and maintenance since 2001, and uses her experience to create vibrance and variation in the flower beds around town. Debra explained that most of the displays consist of “hardy plants that do not need a lot of water but are still bright and beautiful. These plants work best for the area that we live in and last longer through our hot and dry summers. The variation in displays comes from color choices, textures, height, and public popularity.”
Debra often asks for input from the community to see which displays and flowers people have enjoyed most so that she can plan for more well-loved displays. The plant and flower selection process is also influenced by the CSU Trial Gardens, which Debra both references from and contributes to using her own flower beds.
When it comes to new displays, Debra has to consider different needs, locations, and budgets. Sometimes this work is not to create all new beds, but to move or update an existing one. Location is incredibly important to the creative design of flower beds, and influences the types and colors of plants and flowers that go into a bed. Take for example the Broomfield County Commons, which Debra likes to accent with shades of red, white, and blue because the parks hold the main Fourth of July events. Each display is carefully and thoughtfully planned to best suit the area which it serves. Occasionally Debra is also asked to design and install memorial gardens. She said that these experiences have allowed her to “connect with some wonderful people from the Broomfield community.” She loves to learn the history behind these memorial flower beds.
Debra appreciates when people comment on the flower beds because their opinions help her understand what plants people enjoy most. And she enjoys knowing that people enjoy all of the results of her hard work. This influences her planning for the following seasons. Her favorite time to enjoy the displays is during the late summer when everything is in full bloom. At that time Debra both admires their beauty and analyzes their growth to see which plants flourished in their beds.
As for residents’ gardens, Debra recommends focusing on plants that grow naturally in the local environment. This generally means plants with low water needs. These include native Colorado grasses, which can add variety to personal pots and flower beds. She also recommends experimenting with different colors and textures to make gardens more interesting and unique. Once the plants are in the ground, she said, “de-heading the flowers and frequent fertilization” are crucial for keeping plants healthy and alive through the summer. This will help your own gardens look as stunning as the ones which Debra creates around the city.
The Flower Lady of Broomfield brings unparalleled life and vibrance to our community through her dedication to the flower beds and planters around town. We appreciate her creativity and knowledge, which make the Broomfield landscape one of a kind during every season of the year.