Amidst mundane but necessary research on water tanks and rainwater harvesting issues related to the Garland Urban Agricultural Center and Community Garden, my thoughts turn away toward considerations of its beauty and aesthetics. In addition to all its practical aspects, I'm hoping that it will also be a place of beauty and refuge for Garland residents and visitors--a place similar in beauty to the Arlington Garden in Pasadena, California. In the video provided below you can take a tour of this beautiful site if you wish.
Some of the aspects of Arlington Garden that I would like to see reflected in our Garland Community Garden include the following items:
- Open every day for visiting at no charge
- Demonstrates successful waterwise gardening
- Home to a variety of rare and endangered state plant species (I don't know what plants we might include as many of them only grow in certain areas of our large state. For example, the Texas poppy-mallow (Callirhoë scabriuscula ) is an endangered wildflower found only in Coke, Mitchell, and Runnels counties in the Rolling Plains of Texas. Still we might provide pamphlets and information regarding these plants.)
- Sustainable land use. The walls and paths of this garden are made from reclaimed concrete. (Note: Already we are going down this path. Charles Bevilacqua, one of the members on our planning committee has already priced crushed concrete for one of the planned roadways around the Garland Urban Agricultural Center. Also, like the Arlington Garden, we are including the use of swale and berms within our acreage.)
- A place to find serenity in an urban setting. (I hope the Garland Urban Agricultural Center and Community Garden will become a place such as a young school girl commented on her visit to the Arlington Garden: "I like this garden because I can hear my thoughts here.")
- An educational laboratory. (Although the primary thrust of our educational efforts will be to show citizens how and to encourage them to build their own gardens which they share with their neighbors, we will encourage the community to add to and improve our community garden. For example, at the Arlington Garden, students from a local high school built a classical labyrinth which visitors now use every day.)
- Using now technology- The Arlington Garden has created an app that visitors can use as a guide when visiting their garden. We will create a similar app for the Garland Community Garden area as well. Then people can read related information and stories about the various garden beds and plants as they walk about the garden.