The Arch City Gardener

Journeys In St. Louis Gardening and Beyond


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Making Magic at Grow Glendale Gorgeous Planting Day

DSCN1622 (768x1024)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.

Grow Glendale Gorgeous mastermind, Julie Grimm, with a happy business owner (left) and a planting volunteer (right).

Grow Glendale Gorgeous founder Julie Grimm, with a happy business owner (left) and a planting volunteer (right).

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!

The container staging area at Glendale Public Works was filled with containers, flats of various plants and lots of local volunteers including our State District Representative  Deb Lavender.

The container staging area at Glendale Public Works was filled with containers, flats of various plants and lots of local volunteers including our State District Representative Deb Lavender.

Now this is heavy lifting. Containers were delivered to their new homes throughout the city.

Now this is heavy lifting. Containers were delivered to their new homes throughout the city.

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.

Did you want chard on that sandwich? The window boxes at a local caterer/grocery/deli are filled with greens, herbs, begonia and creeping jenny.

Did you want chard on that sandwich, mint in  your tea? A volunteer fills the window boxes at a local caterer/grocery/deli with greens, herbs, begonia and creeping jenny.

Businesses provided the containers, Grow Glendale Gorgeous provided the plants.

Businesses provided the containers, Grow Glendale Gorgeous provided the plants.

Volunteers make light work of heavy lifting. More than 30 containers were filled and placed around the city as part of the beautification effort.

Volunteers make light work of heavy lifting. More than 30 containers were filled and placed around the city as part of the beautification effort.

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Don’t think that plant is going to hide you! A happy but shy volunteer sweeps up after planting and mulching.

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Plants go in, water goes on. This bed at City Hall was filled with various begonia and creeping jenny.

Moving mulch.

Moving mulch.

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The clock in front of City Hall is surrounded at its by plantings that will soon be overflowing.

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Do You Believe in Magic?

On a cold, dreary winter night this week a spell was cast in Glendale, MO.

I am among the 5,900 or so who call this bedroom community home. And several of us came together this week as volunteers for a community beautification effort called Grow Glendale Gorgeous. This grassroots effort was started by a woman named Julie. Her plan is to beautify the community with containers, gardens, and landscapes. This week she and her board members hosted their second community meeting, an evening get together at City Hall to share their progress and start sign up sheets for a work day in April and to volunteer to water.

Here’s a little bit about Glendale: It’s 1.2 miles large and is situated in central St. Louis County. These are just statistics, however. What they don’t tell you is the pride and passion its residents have for this place. Glendale was recently named the #1 community to live in Missouri. While there may be no city park (at least I have not come across one in the 4 years years I have lived here) if GGG has its way, the city will be unified with large containers overflowing with flowers, a native garden bed at the school, window boxes at local businesses and gardens and containers at City Hall.

Julie and her crew describe it as “magic.” Do you believe in magic? I know I do. I look forward to sharing progress of GGG in the coming months.