Mother Nature threatened rain but did not follow through until more than 40 volunteers completed their gardening “chores” Saturday in Glendale, MO, the small St. Louis suburban bedroom community where I live. No, there was no rain delay on a community beautification/education effort that has been in making for more than a year–the brainchild of citizen Master Gardener Julie Grimm and her good friends Kelli Hickenbotham, Robin Caringer and Allison Knight.
I first wrote about G3, as I personally call it, in a February blog post after I attended an evening get together at City Hall where the four gave an update on their efforts and filled sign up sheets for volunteers at today’s planting day and to water the 30 containers they planned to place around town. At that time, they described the outcome of this effort as “Magic” and set about casting their spell on small community that is filled with pride. If the shouts of encouragement from passing motorists and local shoppers are any indication of future success, I’d say G3 is in pretty good shape. One passing citizen even donated money for the cause.
Yet, this sounds a lot simpler than it is. the G3 leaders established Grow Glendale Gorgeous as a non-profit, developed a budget, connected with the city–after all City Hall was a target for gardens and containers–found volunteers, struck deals with local businesses (you buy the containers, we’ll provide the plants), did fundraising, promoted the effort, and on and on. Whew, that’s a lot of work before the first plant is bought!
And buy they did. Elephant ear, coleus, creeping jenny, dragon wing begonia, plectranthus, asparagus fern, palms, hibiscus, kale, lettuce, chard, herbs and much more were in flat after flat at the city’s public works facility greeting planting volunteers at 8 a.m. The weather called for rain and maybe that is why volunteers were busy planting before 8. By noon, pots, hanging baskets, windowboxes and garden beds were filled to the brim.
I hope Julie and her crew are pleased with the outcome. Glendale may be small (just under 6,000 population) but today’s turn out proved their neighbors do believe in magic.