As of now, I am in a mad rush to finish final spring gardening touches to my display garden here in town. The group (of which I am one) that is working to develop Community Gardens here in Smithville is having a garden tour on May 1st, and my garden will be one of 13 gardens featured on it. Jill Strube, our half-time (more like full time) Grant Writer for the city, is coordinating the event.
The tour will feature a variety of gardens. My display garden, which includes many Old Roses, an herb garden, kitchen garden, and collection of other vines, shrubs, perennials, and annuals, is one. Local artist Wanda Gamble will show her landscape, which is an eclectic collection of plants, edibles, and other plants worth painting. Emily Boyd-Hewitt will share her garden, which is growing rapidly with a collection of native plants suitable for the area. Cassie Hager will show her front garden which features flowers and vegetables of interest to children. Annette Anderson has a “homestead” vegetable garden, Inez Green has a variety of plants at her home garden, and Nancy Kubicek owns and tends the garden noted for its lovely shade plantings and a railroad car in the back yard. There will also be 6 additional gardens that are part of the Community Garden network. These are planted and tended by the group, and consist of fruit trees and vegetable plantings.
A few of the locations will be open from 10 AM to Noon with experts talking on such topics as Organic Pest Control/Integrated Pest Management, Rainwater Harvesting, Bees, and other Sustainable Landscape issues. I’m told that the early locations will be the Community Gardens at the Food Pantry, the “Children’s Garden” across from Brown Elementary, the Methodist Church at 4th and Olive, and Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church on Walker Street. Most locations (those of private homeowners) will open later at 12 Noon, and garden owners will provide information and informal interaction with the public. My own garden will be one of those open later, and Jenny Rose Bush will have a table set up on my porch to instruct interested folks in Vermiculture, or gardening that encourages the growth of earthworms.
Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce at the end of Main Street by the Gazebo. There are usually volunteers present from 10 AM to 4 PM weekdays but please call ahead (237-2313) to be certain someone is there to sell you tickets. Tickets are $10 each and children under 12 will be admitted free of charge. Tickets will be traded for armbands that will get you into all the gardens; please start at the Chamber of Commerce if you possibly can, but armbands will be available at all locations. Ticket sales will pay for plants and seeds for garden sites, educational programs, needed tools and equipment, & a building fund for the property at MLK & Hwy 95. This new site was recently deeded to the city, and will be developed as the Garden Center for the program. Gardening and cooking classes will eventually be held there, and perhaps even quilting or other old fashioned crafts can be shared with/by the community at large. The Smithville Community Gardens turns vacant property into productive land with help from many volunteers. Anyone who would like to make donations to the project at any time can contact Municipal Judge Ron Jones at City Hall (237-3282).
For a map of locations and additional updated information, please visit the website. We hope to see you on May 1st.