Warm weather and space can be perfect for a multitude of things but in specific, community gardens which seem to be popular and sprouting up everywhere. Gardens allow people the chance to be responsible for a small thing and with care grows into something amazing. Chicago has started a community garden in the lot on the corner of 70th St & Dorchester Ave, they’ve built 22 raised beds. Filled with about 70 items the garden has brought together neighbors, friends and many curious minds. Amia & Danny who are neighbors to the garden have played a influential part in the garden. With her artistic smock you can catch Mia and Danny anytime in the garden making sure that the vegetables and plants are watered and the grounds are maintained.


Program manager Penny Duff says, “by the end of the summer, we will have completed additional projects so that the lot will serve a range of purposes: community garden, outdoor classroom, and neighborhood social space. This includes building additional structures including an open-air community roundhouse, picnic table(s), signage, and possibly making amendments to the chain length fence to create an additional entrance.”

In St. Louis at the Pink House they have a Garden Installation class every week, where participants explore fundamentals of how to combine ancient and modern textile mark-making processes as they learn to build an assemblage of outdoor canopies inspired by the Pink House garden space. They’ve taken a space and are transforming it visually because who said garden’s can’t be aesthetically appealing? St. Louis program manager Gina Martinez gave me an outlook on the Pink House garden.


Neighbors of the Pink House visiting the Sunflowers that bloomed

Q: “How did you decide on the programming for the garden?”  Gina: "The sheer size of the Pink House garden area has always made it a standout on Salerno Drive in Pagedale, MO.  The property also contains a gazebo and smaller house adorned with ornate masonry work.  Some of our eldest neighbors' stories of former Pink House residents have shaped our understanding but we haven't met anyone who has lived here long enough to know the original mason."

Currently, friend and neighborhood partner, "Turk," has been shaping the Pink House garden space.  For raised garden beds, Turk deconstructed crates used for shipping art work for the frames.  This summer, we have been anticipating peppers, eggplant and squash.  In April, we collectively planted mammoth sunflowers which already stand 4 feet tall.  In May, Turk constructed a chime-like sculpture in the spirit of distracting animals who might stint the garden's growth.  The sculpture is made from old chandelier pieces, plastic from a store-bought air freshener and an old wire fruit basket.  This is one of Turk's first experiences growing flowers, fruits and vegetables.  He is learning as he grows and Pink House participants are sharing in the process with him.


Pictured Pink House gardener Turk 

I’ve been enjoying the sight of community gardens being a positive contribution within communities, allowing people the unique opportunity and responsibility for this space. I am excited to see how each and every community garden flourishes and develops.


AuthorRhonda Mitchell