Always a shady spot somewhere in the garden for people to gather and chat
GARLAND COMMUNITY GARDEN EVENT SEPTEMBER 19 IS NOW A HAPPY MEMORY
Such a nice celebration in one of the nicest places in Garland! If you are looking for conformity, uniformity or status quo, then the Garland Community may not be the place for you. However, if you are seeking the unusual, pleasant encounters, and a feeling of contentment where edges of the wild meet with those of civilization, then the Garland Community Garden is definitely a place where you will enjoy spending time. Many use words such as “healing” and “peaceful” to describe the atmosphere of the garden--a large area with enough ancient pecan trees to provide shade somewhere in the garden all day long.
In addition to being a community garden, our surrounding wooded area is a certified National Wildlife habitat. This is one of the reasons we use no pesticide or herbicides in our garden.
A Day Filled with Happy Surprises
Most of the jujubes were eaten and the few that remained were taken home by our guests. I had expected to bring most of them back home. People are more willing to try new food than I realized. Even the youngsters gobbled down several.
Pam Swendig, Director of our local Good Samaritans, came bearing lots of gifts for Loving Garland Green and our guests: a huge box of garden seeds, lots of sanitary wipes, and the promise of one of the lovely turquoise picnic tables from Good Samaritan’s. In case you don’t know the story of the turquoise picnic tables, The Turquoise Table was an unintentional movement started in Austin, Texas by Kristin Schell in 2013 and has reached homes around the globe. Today all fifty states have at least one turquoise table. One day, Kristin decided to have the delivery service leave her picnic table in the front yard instead of the back and proceeded to paint it her favorite color, turquoise. Kristin soon noticed that people started stopping and talking and that there were so many neighbors she had not met or did not know as well as she wished she had. The table became a social meeting place that brought together everyone and helped form a community focused on family, friends and most importantly, hospitality. Kristin realized she had stumbled upon something most Americans were missing, authentic and meaningful conversations with the people around them and their families.
I had a similar front-yard experience, oddly enough, also in the spring of 2013. I had only shade in my back yard so I decided to dig up my front lawn and plant vegetable and blackberries, along with a few peach trees and a couple of pomegranate trees. People driving by would stop to talk to me about my work in progress. I began counting the people who stopped and got out of their cars to talk to me. Over the course of two months, over 150 people had stopped. I decided we need a community garden and then on April 24, 2014 we installed our first bed at what is now the Garland Community Garden.
Young people love gardens too!
Linsey Gilbert, School Nurse at ParkCrest Elementary, Stopped by Today
Looks like Kristy is telling Linsey a tall garden tale.
A few years ago, Linsey spearheaded the development of a wonderful school garden at ParkCrest Elementary. She brought together many elements of community--many of our local master naturalists such as Reba Collins and David Parrish, our Garland Neighborhood Vitality Department, and members of Loving Garland Green worked with Linsey to achieve her award-winning dream. Due to a recent discovery of tainted soil, the EPA is removing the soil and will be helping Linsey to restore the garden to an even greater condition for use by teachers, students, and the surrounding community.
Kristy, the "Okra Angel" Stopped By
Kristy eats a Jujube for the first time and likes it!
Almost every time I am in the garden, I meet someone new. This week Kristy stopped by as I was weeding a bed. She asked if she could pick the large okra for me. She really felt like an answer to my prayers. It was already getting hot and I had only minutes before had the thought “Oh gosh. I have to cut okra before I leave.” If you don’t cut okra--especially that which has grown too large, it discourages the proper development of more okra. You really need to pick okra daily as most Texas gardeners will tell you.
We were happy to see Angela Verlah, one of our Loving Garland Green members at the Garden. Angela, originally from Africa, is one of our more enthusiastic gardeners. She and her daughter maintain two large beds.
SPECIAL THANKS TO YOU ALL!
There are many other happy memories of the day, but I would like to close with a special thank you to the members who helped with this event: Jane Stroud, Charles Bevilacqua, Nancy Seaberg, Margie Rodgers, Gunvat Patel (Pat). Also, a special thank-you to Nancy Tunell of our Garland Neighborhood Vitality department and of course to our Garland Parks and Recreation personnel who keep the meadow in front of the garden beautifully mowed