Friday, April 24, 2015

History Still in the Making!

Greetings Wild Indigo readers! It's April 24th and the month is nearly over and done with but not before we celebrate National Arbor Day. To celebrate I plan on planting some "trees" today but more on that later. Interestingly enough the pictures I'd planned on posting this week turned out to be hilariously fitting images suitable to promote Thicke's "Blurred Lines," (yes including the landmark lawsuit victory for the Marvin Gaye family!) since that's exactly what they all are ~ blurred! But its all good since colorful dialogue and a little taste of local history might just be the perfect enticement to attend the 4th Annual Sustainable Neighbors Garden Tour. Its next Sunday May 3rd from 2 pm - 6 pm.  All told five gardens will be open for your perusing enjoyment this Spring, including mine. We plan on meeting at the Arsenal Bridge Garden then will disperse to free-tour the rest of the gardens. So this weeks blog will highlight all the gardens on the tour.

Arsenal Bridge located between the Museum of the Cape Fear at 801 Arsenal Avenue and Arsenal Park is the pedestrian bridge which spans highway 87 joining the two.  The bridge project was started by a former Sustainable Neighbor kimchee extraordinaire Bryan and is an amazing sustainable microclimate garden all of its own.  This area is of particular interest to both Fayetteville natives and Civil War buffs and is notably the first stop on The Spirit of America Trails. Much can be said about the NC Arsenal at Fayetteville because back in the day it was a big deal for the U.S. military. Its chief cornerstone was laid on April 9, 1838. The perimeter was constructed of both brick and stone its walls were massive in size. Where the four corners met to the Northeast was an octagonal tower. Here's a picture of the grounds as it stood in the 1800's to include the Poe House and the tower who's monument stands adjacent in today's Arsenal Park: 
Quite impressive! Not only was the famed Fayetteville Rifle produced here but over  900,000 rounds of small arms ammo and other combat items were assembled by women workers. These were sent directly to the front lines, proving to be a major contribution to the Confederate war effort. (And people say a women shouldn't be President! Phffft!) In March 1865, Union General William T. Sherman led his army into Fayetteville and ordered his chief engineer, Col. Orlando M. Poe, to "batter the arsenal building into piles of rubble and then burn and blow up the ruins." So when you meet us at the launching site for this years garden tour be sure to walk around the Historical Poe House grounds and Armory where history is still in the making!

Be sure to stop by my Fayetteville Celtic Gardens also on this Springs Urban Farm Tour. The write up for the Fayetteville Celtic Gardens can be seen here as they were the highlight for last week's blog:;postID=8538489624448544968;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=1;src=postname

I must add that while time has not been on my side this Spring I'm extremely excited over newly accomplished projects including the placement of a new irrigation system and orchard. Its been wonderful to see which plants have returned from their winters sleep and observe the Spartan growth of newly planted items. Bragging rights abound and I'm so excited to share my treasures with you! As usual Sonshine Soaps will be available for purchase as well as new sundries up for sale. The Celtic Gardens are located at 920 McKimmon Road in the Cumberland Heights neighborhood. Look for the 920 yard sign and feel free to stop by up until 5:30 pm where afterwards I close up shop and go incognito on tour as a fellow garden fairy.

Now I was driving in the Suburban Hermits (a.k.a. James) neighborhood the other day and I've gotta say that he's made some huge changes in the front yard.  Being the polite Sustainable Neighbor that I am I didn't sneak peeks at the backyard but I can only imagine what unconventional urban gardening tactics have been employed back there. I'm green with envy and quite humbled at his achievements. Since spoilers are just that - spoils - I won't elaborate or disclose what he's done but needless to say its elaborate and outstanding! Its awesome that another fellow Sustainable Neighbor - who incidentally is on next weekend's tour - is valiantly representing and living the edible landscape dream to the tee! Check back for location details!

Second Harvest Food Bank located at 406 Deep Creek Road serves Bladen, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, Robeson, and Sampson counties by providing nutritious food and other services. Ron Pringle is the head honcho and with his blessing allowed Sustainable Neighbors Marsha Howe to build a series of raised garden beds aimed to show kids and families where food comes from and how easy it is to grow! It's expanded substantially from its humble beginnings developing into quite the showpiece of Second Harvest! What I love in particular is its simplicity. Composting stations help recycle donated food so nothing on site is wasted. The composted soil goes into the raised beds becoming the enriching, living substrate, full of living micro-organisms and bacteria the seeds and plants thrive on. Out of the abundance the cultivation circle is completed when after harvest plant remains go back into the compost for soil amendment the following season. It's a true cycle of life in its simplest and truest form, working in perfect tandem with nature's design. You can read more about the non-profits efforts here:

A little known fact about Fayetteville: it has its fair share of secret gardens but none of the likes of the private test gardens by the artisan mastermind Thomas Clark. Grown for both pleasure and purpose he utilizes efficient xeriscaping design resulting in a wonderful garden masterpiece. I am particularly partial to his majestic white pines - a rarity in this region - whose perfumed resin waifs the air bringing a sense of enchantment to the grounds. Over the winter his test gardens sustained considerable snow and ice damage but I'm certain his uber recycling efforts will result in dope beds you won't want to miss! He's located at 1105 Martindale. Just look for the little red mailbox garden. His blog this week showcases a few rare individuals whose flowers might be spent by next week's tour so click and enjoy!

Looking forward to meeting you next weekend and as always may happiness be a ray of sunshine to your mind, body and soul!

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