Lovelady Center

Working the gardens at Lovely Center

The rooftop garden at the Lovelady Center in Eastlake that was planted to celebrate Earth Day. That day they planted 800 out of 1000 square feet of available gardening space for vegetables and cut flowers. The Lovelady Center is a residential facility for women participating in a nine-month recovery program, in a setting that allows children to live with their mothers. Wrapping up in June, volunteers completed a six-week pilot project of teaching botany science to the residents, using the remaining 200 square foot raised bed as a “classroom.” At half way through, it's very encouraging to see the enthusiasm shown by the ladies in the course. So many of them tell of learning about gardening from their parents and grandparents. Though almost as many say that weeding was a form of punishment. We’re hoping that it seems more like a welcome time for meditation now.

Gardens at the Lovely Center.

The first six week course at the Lovelady Center, “Beyond Basics: the Science of Successful Gardening” wrapped up in June. The next course began July 8th and Master gardeners “tag teamed” to teach with Bethany. Kate Musso dropped by in late June to troubleshoot and found very little trouble and a whole lot of vegetables ready to pick. The garden area is the top floor of a parking garage and there were fears that pollinators wouldn’t find the crops but bees were everywhere.

Vegetables picked at Loveladies

In September, Bethany wrote:

We’ve just finished up another six-week course, “Beyond the Basics: The Science ofSuccessful Gardening” at the Lovelady Center. The first raised beds were planted with the help ofa large team of volunteers on Earth Day weekend, April 20th. Since then, the planting andmaintenance have been undertaken by the class members who are residents of the long-termresidential rehab program—more than thirty women to date. As summer comes to an end, alltwelve of the 200 square feet raised beds on the rooftop level (an old parking deck) have beenrenovated and planted productively with a mix of herbs, flowers, and vegetables. Classparticipants have been measuring their success through paper and electronic journals whichinclude observations, weighing of produce, and notes for future seasons. Master GardenerKatherine Galloway assisted in several of the classes this summer and plans to return this fall tohelp teach the more advanced course “Gardening 2.0: Upwards and Onwards”. Hope Long,Master Gardener and BBG Director of Library Services, visited the classroom one week toinstruct on useful applications of herbs in home products and crafts. On the rooftop, shedemonstrated flower seed-saving techniques. The seed exchange at the BBG Library has been agenerous contributor to the Lovelady Center rooftop garden and will receive a “pay back” of aflower seed mix of purple coneflowers, zinnias and Black-Eyed Susan from that garden this fall.JCMGA president, Charlie Faulkner, visited the class on one of the hottest days of the summerand saw the garden being well-tended despite 96-degree heat.

JCMGA 2020