Thursday, May 22, 2014

Forest Hills' Amy Winston Carr Memorial Garden Renewed

Amy Winston Carr Memorial Garden from October 2013 to April 2014.
Photos by Margaret Rauwald, Project Chair.
By Margaret Rauwald
Forest Hills Garden Club
This spring the ‘Amy Winston Carr Memorial Garden’ awakened with a bright new face! 
In October 2013, the memorial garden was revamped in thanks to the Forest Hills Garden Club.  It is marked by a small wooden sign and bench located just inside the park from the corner of W. Forest Hills Blvd. and University Drive, opposite corner from the larger ‘Birds of Flight’ sculpture perennial garden.
The Memorial Bed was first planted in 1959 to honor Garden Club Founder Amy Carr - Mrs. George Watts Carr, Sr. who lived at 15 Oak Drive.  The bed was primarily made up of plants that were given in her memory at her death.  In 1982, upon the death of another Garden Club stalwart, Mary Anne Stockton, of 1124 West Forest Hills Blvd., another memorial garden, funded by Mary Anne's own will, was planted right next to it. From 1982 until 1997 the two beds were lovingly cared for by Mrs. Ava Hobgood, a garden club member who lived at 17 Oak Drive. Ava planted bulbs and got the two beds to grow together making them indistinguishable from one another. However over the past six years the garden received only minimal care, was over-grown, deeply shaded and needed rejuvenation.  It was then decided by the garden club to use available funds and come up with a new plan.
As a Forest Hills GC member and garden design enthusiast, I was thrilled to take the lead on this project.  Collaborating with members, the garden plan was created and put into action. The work began with the help of KC’s Trees who limbed up surrounding trees including massive overhanging beech and holly limbs, opening the area to more light. The old railroad ties border was also removed, all for a nominal fee working within a tight budget.
With a good day of planting, pruning and debris cleanup in partnership with a team from TROSA, the garden was beautifully transformed.  It now incorporates a bronze colored metal border curving around 100 feet of area with 76 new shade and semi-shade plants grouped with the original azaleas, camellias and large vibernum. Monkey grass was transplanted further back giving front row space for new blooming perennials. A small antique cement bench and butterfly themed stepping-stones now lead you into the front sunnier side of garden and the painted birdbath is tucked around the corner among azaleas.
New Plantings: 
Ajuga ‘Burgandy Glow’, Camellia Japonica ‘Marie Bracey’, Dianthus ‘Firewitch’,
Ferns (Woodland & Evergreen varieties), Helleborus (Lenten Roses), Heucheras (Coral Bells), Hosta variety, Hydrangeas ‘Oakleaf & Endless Summer’, Lirope muscari ‘Variegata’, Loropetalum Chinensis ‘Purple Pixie’, Rhododendrum ‘Autumn Twist’, Solomon Seal, Verbena ‘Lilac’
In addition, 180 daffodil bulbs were planted by neighborhood volunteers including the newly formed FH Junior Garden Club started by garden club member Caroline Carrington.
Further down into the west end of the park is the ‘Kathleen Garden.’  A green metal park bench and native plants mark this area while neighboring giant magnolias and majestic oaks offer a sense of protection making it another peaceful place to sit, reflect and be thankful for the natural beauty all around us. 

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