Betsy Cory is a CNPS member and came to the board several months ago with a request to sponsor a Public Library Native Plant garden in Chula Vista. South Bay has seen some good projects lately, and here isBetsy's report on how her garden is progressing:
Yesterday was the last step in the installation of the Fragrant Garden at the Chula Vista Library. A Native American elder, Randy Edmonds, blessed and dedicated the garden in a traditional ceremony. He burned a white sage smudge and wafted the smoke up to the Creator with an eagle feather fan. With the smoke went our hope and trust that the small plants will grow into an aromatic garden that will be a comfort and source of appreciation for native plants to people of all ages.
In the months before, everything had gone like clockwork. The soil was analyzed by a laboratory and found to need iron and sulfur. Those minerals were purchased and dug into the soil by the Chula Vista Garden Club. Kay Stewart selected the plants and designed the garden to make the most of the challenging site, which is a small triangular interior courtyard surrounded by 20-foot walls. The 27 plants of 11 different species were purchased at the CNPS-SD plant sale and planted the same day. (Two Artemisia dracunculus were unavailable and were purchased from Recon.) Kay also printed labels, so that each plant is clearly identifiable. A poster was placed at the entrance with photographs of the plants as they will look when mature, along with the common and botanical names of each, and acknowledgment of the CNPS-SD funding. The Chula Vista Parks Maintenance Department adjusted the irrigation system and spread mulch after the plants were installed. The Chula Vista Garden Club is prepared to do the necessary weeding and pruning at the proper time.
It is fitting that the blessing took place during Native American Heritage Month. The plants in the garden are native plants that were so important to the native wildlife, as well as to the Native Americans who lived in the area--and still live here. Thank you for the grant which made this garden possible.
Chula Vista Garden Club Member
Chula Vista Library Cardholder