Rescue March/April 2005
anticipation of the destruction of the
community garden at 20th & Catharine by the real estate
developers who purchased the land, a group of volunteers, led by
SOSNA board members Ann Hoskins-Brown and John McHugh and 20th &
Catharine gardener Laura Blanchard, have secured permission to relocate
plants at the corner of Carpenter and Gray's Ferry while SOSNA and
other stakeholders explore the possibility of greenspace in our
community. (Photo, right: Ann and John survey the challenge.)
first of two phases, site clearing, took place Saturday, March 26.
The team has decided to re-site the plants on part of the lot where
they are sure there will be no development-related activity. Photos
from the three-hour work session are shown below.
second phase: moving plants, took place the weekends of April 2
and April 9, with additional plants to be rescued as time permits.
Photos of the "rescue beds," April 14, are also shown
The site. Some of the space facing Gray's Ferry Avenue (to
the right) is privately owned. The team decided to clean most of
the area of trash and weeds before digging any planting beds. There
is a curved lane across the site, which neighbors use for parking
and turning vehicles, and no attempt to change this use pattern
is planned at this time.
Step 1: Cleanup! Although this part of the site is not going
to be used for plant rescue, the team decided that a cleanup would
lift the spirits of the gardeners and the neighborhood.
Planting site. This area (behind the dirt lane), despite
being in partial shadow from the Pawlonia tree to the right, will
receive sun for a good part of the day and is comfortably out of
range of any construction equipment that might show up to develop
Ferry Avenue site.
The rescue beds. The plants to be rescued consist mostly
of perennials plus eight or ten rosebushes or shrubs and two or
three Arbor Day Foundation sapling trees. Working with pick and
shovel, the rescuers dug shallow beds (about 6 inches deep) and
bordered them with bricks, rocks, and chunks of concrete. The impoverished
soil will be enriched with compost from the community garden and/or
the city recycling center, creating raised beds. The team plans
to dig somewhat deeper within the beds in the spots where shrubs
are to be located.
The product. Bags and bags and bags of trash and weeds. Note
hydrant in foreground -- the team hopes that this will be its water
vote of thanks to the people who came out on Easter weekend with
less than 48 hours' notice for the March 26 rescue: Roy Blanchard,
Greg Brown, Sara Charlotte Brown, Lori Hayman, Ann Hoskins Brown,
John McHugh, Larry Shaeffer and Mei-Ling. Photos and text by Laura
-- April 14
beds. The team dug deep to rescue the seedling callery pears
in the rear bed. Also included: a double-flowered Rose of Sharon,
a forsythia, and several lilacs that had crept out from the main
plant. Interspersed are German bearded iris, columbines, and other
perennials. (Below: more rescue bed photos.)
rescue by Laura Blanchard and Ann Hoskins-Brown with assistance
from Sara Charlotte Brown. Tree and shrub rescue by Ann Hoskins-Brown,
Greg Brown, Sara Charlotte Brown, John McHugh, and Lisa Parsley.