It was no surprise that the SMBGC members responded with great generosity, driving by on planting day with large quantities of donations from their own gardens. The Lions Club provided funding to purchase evergreens. Donations were also made by Unlimited Country and Heirloom Rose Nursery. One of the heartwarming stories illustrating the commitment of individuals who contributed to the garden is told about Dorothy Hill who, in her 80s, meticulously planted the row of Lady's Mantle in such a way as to enhance the curve of the bed which still continues to capture the observer's eye and draw one into the essence of the garden.
Some of the earliest donated plants in the garden were geraniums, hostas, phlox and dianthus.
Early purchases were blue rug junipers, wooly thyme, veronica and roses. Thirteen varieties of daylilies (139 plants) in shades of yellow, red, pink and peach and with staggered bloom times became the foundation plants for the garden and still grace it today. Working in pairs, a rotation of members was organized to maintain the garden from June to September. In July of 1998 a plaque of acknowledgment was presented to SMBGC on behalf of the business community. Not only had the project beautified the area, it had created a sense of pride among businesses that also began to improve their immediate landscapes.
Since its inception, the SMBGC has continued to purchase plants from provincial retailers and from within the club bulk orders as well as accept donated plants from members. Interest in the creation of year-round architectural interest has increased the use of shrubs in the garden. A map of the garden was maintained for a time at Unlimited Country to assist gardeners in identifying plants which they might wish to acquire for their own gardens.
Members continue to lead development of the garden and participate in its maintenance. The maintenance is currently achieved through 20 individuals on two work teams, each meeting at the garden on a bi-monthly basis. Those assuming the role of garden coordinators have included Eileen Carrier, Ruth Ann Moger, Carole Ross and Jerry Walsh.
[We acknowledge a gap in the history from 2000 to 2010 and welcome further input from members to identify past coordinators and key activities].
In 2010 a rock retaining wall was built to prevent slope erosion and improve the view of the garden from Highway No. 3. Once again this was a joint effort between Wayne Redmond, who contracted the excavator and provided soil, and the many volunteers who painstakingly moved plants from the path of the backhoe and then replanted them.
The SMBGC took this opportunity to divide mature plants and offered some for purchase in its first public plant sale. Revenue generated from the sale has been allocated for ongoing garden maintenance and development. A larger sign was erected in the garden to profile the role of the SMBGC.
In 2011 the garden was expanded through the addition of eleven shrubs in a new oval bed measuring approximately 25 feet by 15 feet. In addition, an educational project was initiated to inform members of the club and the community who, after seeing the plants in the Crossroads Garden, are considering planting the same in their own gardens. The club is in the early stages of labeling individual plants and has begun (but not completed) a site map. All plants will be recorded as they are acquired and as many of the existing plants already in the ground as possible will be identified. Photos of individual plants are being taken and will be linked to the site plan as part of a visual web-based reference of the garden. The plan is to provide links from each image to a resource site which will provide information about the plants characteristics and growing conditions. The project is targeted for completion during 2012.
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