Joyful children in the Loofah Tunnel at the Garland Community Garden - Dusk September 29, 2015
There is nothing quite as special as introducing inquisitive young minds to the garden--especially the Garland Community Garden as our garden is not the typical community garden. To begin with, there is no fence. It is open to the public from sunrise to sunset 24/7.
Its design continues to follow the rather serendipitous path of inspiration, experimentation and "making do" with what we have, find and are given. To say that it is "eclectic" would be an understatement. We do not have neatly lined up rows raised beds with wooden frames. In fact, it is fairly safe to say that there are no two beds in this garden that are exactly the same and we like it that way because our garden shows visitors a few of the many possibilities for designing a garden. There is no one "right" way--just as there is no one right way to paint a picture.
We are fortunate that our Parks and Recreation Department are sharing this space with us. it is a beautiful location with several large old pecan trees. If you haven't been down there I recommend you visit--even in the heat of the day. Perhaps its the proximity to the creek, I don't know, but in the shade of a pecan tree there is almost always a cool breeze. I keep saying I'm bringing a quilt down there and taking a nap one of these days. It is always so pleasant--even in triple digit temperatures.
But here I've digressed from this evenings story:
A visit from Greg Line and His Children
This afternoon was one of those days when I went down to the garden at 2PM--only to pick up some pine cones for a project (I'll tell you about that another time). Before I knew it, I had picked okra, deadheaded several basil plants, pulled grass out of a bed, taken some cuttings, and it was 6PM. I began gathering up my garden tools when I spotted a man and three children walking into the garden. It was Greg Line, his two daughters and son.
Even though I looked like a dirty old mutt, the children didn't seem to mind at all. As usual, like all children before them, they were excited about being in the garden and questions poured from them almost faster than I could answer them. It was not a complete tour, but close to it. I showed them the hops experiment and each girl got two hops flowers. They saw the spinach and each took a leaf for tasting. We walked over to the loofah tunnel and once again I was touched by the extreme sweet politeness of Garland children. They asked if they could walk through the tunnel. "Why of course you can," was my reply. That was one of the reasons Charlie Bevilacqua, one of our board members, built the tunnel--so children could have the fun of walking through it.
As you can see from the photo below, the loofah vines cover one side and the top entirely. The other side is covered about halfway down as you can see in the photo above with the girls. From the loofah tunnel, it was on to the children's garden where the girls tasted two kinds of mint--one of which was chocolate mint. Also there was the excitement of a little garden snake that slithered away while they were picking the mint. Later when we were looking at some Malabar spinach, they spied a tiny little frog. And of course there were the butterflies. The visit concluded with a jar of soap bubbles for each of the girls. [I forgot to show them the magic carpet--the one that, fueled by imagination, will fly to any destination.
There really is quite a lot of entertainment going on at all times in the garden.
Greg's visit with his children renewed my resolve to work together with other people and groups to begin the establishment of pocket neighborhood gardens. Greg and I and others who live nearby to the Garland Community Garden are fortunate in that we can walk to a community garden in our neighborhood. Its proximity makes it easy for us to participate in taking care of it and working together to make it even more special. I hope to be able to provide many others with this same opportunity in 2016.