Sunday, April 19, 2015

When the Calvary Arrives

Yesterday was another quiet and pretty morning for the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden.  Our tulips, peach and cherry trees are in bloom.  The graffiti across the street has been covered as though it were never there.

When I arrived, I saw H Dave walking around wearing all of his clothes (even though it was going to be hot today).  I weeded the herb garden and an area in my plot to put my herbs.  I then watered the rows where I have planted and weeded the southern raised flower bed. 

A couple showed up looking for Pastor Brown to pick up litter along Main Street.  I explained that they were a week late, but they were certain that there was supposed to be another litter pick-up event today.  I loaned them our litter grabbers and gave them a trash bag so that they could work on their own.  They returned our tools by noon.

Tom, Sabrina and Zephyr came to plant in their plot.   They brought lots of bagged soil and trays of seedlings and seed potatoes with them.

Two of the neighborhood girls who had helped us last week returned.  I put them to work cleaning up the northeast plot where the raised bed used to be.

I liberated a trellis from the back fence and raspberry brambles and other trellises that had been stacked on top of raised beds.  And then  I pushed brambles back into that fence area.  Then, I liberated more raspberry seedlings from the kids’ plots and tried to figure out what to do with all of them. I collected a bunch of tomato/trellis stakes left there from last year and put them by the shed (where they belong) and tried rolling up some green twine that had gotten tangled in a lot of things.    I also started to empty our large tank so that Frank can fix the broken spicket and we can move it and raise the platform by six inches.

I then turned to weeding and edging the flower bed in front of my plot.  That got
more complicated when I realized that there were some weed trees that had to be dug out. There were frequent water/iced-tea breaks.   I also brought some volunteer cone flowers from my back yard and planted them in bare spots. Of course, there were more raspberry seedlings to dig out and put in the pile by Rayna’s plot.  I also found a few praying mantis cocoons.

I finished by cleaning up the center flower bed.   I have no idea why there was so much grass growing in it.

Sabrina returned with a sushi lunch for her, Tom and Zephyr.  They sat and ate it on the path.  It will be nice to have a picnic table by this time next week.  (It is being donated by the City and Rebuilding Together of Central Ohio).  The kids are already hanging out in the location where the table will be.

Another neighbor girl stopped by and said she had claimed one of the platform raised beds.  She has dug out trenches for planting, which was very creative of her. She also removed the onions which Rayna had transplanted there in case the kids wanted them.  I’m pretty sure that she’s supposed to be sharing the corner bed with her sister, but I’ll deal with that later.
I was feeling guilty about not bringing gas to refill the lawn mower because our lawn
clearly needed to be mowed again.   Then, Frank and Barb arrived.  Our calvary.  They installed our front gate. The kids told me last week that they thought we had closed the Garden forever because we had removed the gates last Fall.  I explained that we remove the gates every year to preserve them.

Frank set out and mowed the Block Watch flower garden across the street with their electric mower.  He then mowed our lawn before starting on the next door lawn before he had to leave for work.  This was Barb’s first visit to the Garden for the season.  She broke her ankle around Christmas and has been unable to perform any work.  Today, she weeded the raised beds that she and Frank built in their plot last year. 

A lady stopped by and asked me for fresh produce.  I told her that we did not have any because we just opened for the season last Saturday.  She insisted that someone told her that I could give her fresh produce.  I again explained that our produce was nothing but seeds at this point because we had just started to plant.  She didn't seem to understand.  Barb thought it would give all new meaning to Miracle-Gro if we had fresh produce after only one week.
Barb and I joked about Keep Columbus Beautiful.  I was chatting with Robert Seed on Friday about picking up our Earth Day supplies. I gave him my name, but failed to mention the SACG.  He called me back and hazed me for not telling him that I was the Garden Manager.  He was disappointed that we hadn’t participated in last Saturday’s litter pick up on East Main Street.  I explained that Susan had already picked up litter and we were busy opening the Garden last week.  Besides, I saw their other volunteers and offered to feed them.  He told me that there were only about seven churches that participated.  He’s going to try and organize all of the East Main Street churches (from Life Vineyard Church at Alum Creek to down town) to hold a litter pick up on the July 4 weekend.  Good luck with that.

Robert wasn't finished and also razzed me about my picture never being on the website.  (Obviously I’m taking the pictures and avoid being on the other side of the camera because I'm rarely bathed, coiffed, or fashionably dressed when I'm at the Garden).  I explained that the Garden Manager is merely an urban legend:-)  There's apparently a bounty for a picture of me. 
As Sabrina's family was packing up, the neighbor kids began screaming about a loose dog.  The next door neighbor's german shepard was running around.  She barks a lot and I'm generally afraid of barking dogs.  However, Tom walked over to her, grabbed her collar and walked her to her front porch without any problem.  Their front door was (disturbingly) unlocked, so he put the dog in the house as instructed by the children.  Our hero.

On my way home, I ran into HD again.  He was heading to the Bexley Library, so I gave him a lift.  I gave him the weather report and offered to find a place to keep his stuff behind our shed.  He wants to use the shed, but I cannot do that because he damaged a few items a few years ago when he moved into the shed (before the police picked him up and committed him).

I returned home to mow, plant my new perennial seedlings that I picked up at the annual DeMonye’s sale on Friday, paint exterior trim on my second floor, pruned rose bushes and watered my vegetable seedlings.   I am still sore and sunburned.

There's still much left to do.  The front flower beds still need to be edged and the north flower bed still needs to be weeded.  The food pantry plots also need to be weeded.   We'll be picking up soil donations this week, which means that we'll be ready to start planting in the kids, neighbor and food pantry plots next weekend. . . . . 

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