In the Garden:
Coastal and Tropical South
March, 2005
Regional Report

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Somebody takes care of gardens in your community ... why not you?

Gardens to Share

Public places say a lot about a community, and public plantings give the most positive message. Street trees in bloom for blocks welcome visitors to the neighborhood and move people along from house to house. Flower gardens no town can afford are the province of volunteer groups across our region. Whether it's colorful annuals planted around the "Welcome To" sign, or a vegetable plot at the nursing home, someone decided to make it happen. Someone has to select the plants and keep them looking good so everyone -- visitors and residents alike -- can see the caring community in action. Why not you?

Places for Plants
Individuals often donate time and plants to gardens at churches, schools, and residential facilities like group homes. There may be a committee or board that has to approve such projects, but few are rejected because gardens are an asset. In fact, the principal at a nearby school may want the students to garden, and can finally do it with your help. Don't promise more than you can do, but do agree to set up a workable project, and devote a couple of hours a week to its maintenance for at least the first season. That way, you set a good gardening example and a routine of watering, fertilizing, and doing other chores that those on site can continue.

Special Legacies
Garden clubs, neighborhood associations, and veterans groups, as well as chambers of commerce and other civic groups, are looking for you, the gardener who wants to contribute a garden to the community. Look for public greening projects, like planting trees in honor of soldiers at the park, or start a memorial rose garden at your church. Adopt-a-Spot projects in commercial areas and along highways need your garden smarts, as does the decrepit planting at the entrance to your subdivision.

More Ways
Giving a garden is not limited to digging and shoveling. You can donate gardening books to the local library or botanic garden, join a group and raise money to plant trees, take photos of community gardens and host an exhibit. Donations of goods (how about a truck of planting soil for the school garden) and services (such as a landscape architect to consult on the project) can make a project go. You can write a newspaper article celebrating local efforts, or write a grant to support them. Your time and energy can make the world a nicer place, when you share a garden.


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