07/28/06 — Garden dedication set for Saturday

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Garden dedication set for Saturday

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on July 28, 2006 1:46 PM

Public library officials and a group of gardening aficionados will gather outside the library on Ash Street on Saturday to dedicate a "garden of understanding," intended to bring together residents of varying ages and backgrounds.

The ceremony will be at 10 a.m. behind the library building.

The 40-some participants range in age from 7 to 70, and they're growing everything from vegetables and flowers to herbs.

And soon, they will add melons.

The project began June 22 with the planting of the first seeds. It was the brainchild of Shorlette Stephens, who directs children's services at the library. She and Assistant Library Director Donna Phillips were looking for ways to bring together people in the community who otherwise might never get to know one another.

And the garden project was born.

Participants have been meeting each Thursday, first for a learning session indoors and then outdoors for hands-on work.

The results have been satisfying, Mrs. Stephens said.

"It's amazing the kind of progress it will make in one week," she said. "I wasn't a garden person until four weeks ago, but I am now."

Next week, the green thumbs, both young and old, will create cut-flower arrangements and stationary decorated with dried flowers from the garden. Some plan to paint and sketch in the garden, and others plan to create vegetable sculptures and even musical instruments using vegetables.

The younger members of the group will visit Sterling House Aug. 10 and prepare container gardens for the residents there. The entire group will get together again Aug. 17 for storytelling, folk remedies and recipe sharing.

The project will continue until Sept. 7, when the group will have a party to celebrate their efforts.

The project has received the support of several organizations including Megan Riley and Bryan Green from the Cherry Research Farm, the Goldsboro Recreation and Parks Department, the Wayne County Cooperative Extension Service , 4-H and the Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County.