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Friday, May. 3rd 2013

Garden Tour Preview Part III

Plentiful Harvest 2 Plentiful Harvest 3

Plentiful Harvest

By Terry Blair Michel, Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City

            Everyone knows what a community garden is, am I right?  This community garden at St. Peter’s Catholic Church started out just as you would imagine.   It came out of the church’s mission to literally feed the hungry, the most honorable of missions.  At first the goal was a purely practical venture to harvest as much produce as possible to enhance the food pantry.  But then the parishoners added another feature:  a well-rounded garden that is a community prayer path, outdoor classroom, and a beautiful vegetable and flower garden.

            This wonderful garden is the most serene respite one could ever imagine for a garden of service to the community.  The soulfulness of walking among the many raised beds is amazing in the fact that it exists in the middle of urban movement that surrounds the church on Meyer Boulevard.  There are a total of twelve raised beds in all, growing useful vegetables such as kale, collards, greens, and okra among many others.  Even in the heat of last summer, the vegetables were in fullness and beauty as if they were oblivious to our blisteringly hot summer. 

            In addition to the vegetables, there are three berry patches for blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries; five fruit trees (apple, pear, and cherry); and an herb garden to give flavor to the vegetables.  But the parishioners didn’t stop with food for human consumption.  Also seen in the garden are a butterfly garden, bird baths and feeders and several bird houses.  This is a garden that uses nearly every space of what was considered “wasted space” to help drain the campus, but now is a garden that creates a peaceful zone in the middle of the “busy-ness” of the city.

            Several trees help to shade the area: weeping serpentine cherries that backdrop a fountain, flowering beautifully in the spring; a lovely flowering purple globe locust; dogwoods and spruce to backdrop a statue of St. Francis; and a Japanese maple and an Austrian pine in a seating area.  The garden boasts 14 benches along a walking path of contemplation.  One might think this garden was planned by a designer, but it was all trial and error and lots of committed volunteers who still work to maintain a pristine and peaceful space.

            Don’t miss this marvelous example of a community garden, or for that matter an edible garden space, which will be shown to the public during the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City 2013 Garden Tour, “Unique Gardens of South Kansas City”, June 7 and 8, 9 am – 4:30 pm.  Tickets are $15 and will be available May 10 at various outlets around the Kansas City area and online via PayPal—a listing of ticket outlets will be available on our website at that time.  Children 12 and under are free.  For further information about the seven gardens on this tour, visit under the “Garden Tour”.


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University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener Program