Garden club meetings archive

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Meeting: 9-17-08

  • We started by trying to gather data. First, we measured the space for our potential gardens:
    • Front, strip between truck well and patio:
      • length, from drainpipe to sidewalk: 16 ft, 3 in
      • width: 1 ft
      • length, drainpipe back to building: 32 ft, 7 in
      • width: 1 ft
    • Full front of building:
      • length: 64 ft, 7 in
        • left of door: 18 ft, 7 in
        • right of door: 43 ft
        • door: 3 ft
      • width: 8 ft, 1 in
    • Alley
      • length (to our property line): 135 ft, 2 in
      • 3 ft and 5 ft beds
    • Back of building:
      • length: 122 ft
      • width: 9 ft to our property line
    • Back of building wall:
      • 4 window openings
      • 2 ft, 8 in between windows (4 sections)
  • We also discussed potential uses of each garden site, along with the particular challenges each area might present (i.e. types of trees in front, use of fence in front, use of trees vs fence in back, purpose of back site, given amount of shade).
  • Finally, we began a discussion of plant material. We found that 3 categories of plants might be a useful way to view selection. We might select plants that are:
    • native to Michigan and the area
    • have been used historically in Detroit
    • plants that are low maintenance, given the size of the beds
  • We also threw out the names of possible contender plants. We know that black-eyed Susans, bee balm, butterfly weed and cone flowers are native and easy to maintain. Possible bushes are the serviceberry, the ninebark, and the red-twig dogwood. All flower. We have questions about a few plants that we need to research: any native clematis or sedum (to get us started).

Needed next time

  • pictures from 1920 (Peggy will bring)
  • Michigan Native plants book
  • material from Celeste with native plant lists
  • roll of tissue paper to add ideas to site maps

To do next

  • bring in tissue paper
  • hang up light chart that Tom designed
  • hang up map of GG and copy of Woody's map
  • research areas:
    • trees native to Michigan that might work in the front of the building
    • historical plantings in Detroit
    • ideas from other cultures
  • determine pathways - how people will interact with gardens
  • what plants do we have that we could contribute?
  • what other plants/trees would we recommend? Using books, including Native Plants book, eco-yardening and Pattern Language...
    • wild lupine (Lupinus pernnis)food for Karner Blue Butterfly
  • how do want to use the gardens to educate and how will we mark them?
  • Woody will make drawing based on our ideas and recommendations
  • People we want to invite for consult (in order): Celeste, Kim, Erica, Ken Weikel. Also, Mark next door to see if he'd like us to extend gardens to his building.
  • Another idea: flagpole with Earth flag, Peace pole out front

Meeting: 9-24-08

Erica was visiting, so we toured the building with her. Some of her ideas:

  • round out a garden in the parking lot to soften edge
  • if we want to plant anything next to the truck well, we should look at anything that will grow on a roof, such as sedum, hens and chicks, small junipers
  • front of building: potentilla, trees for shade, evergreens for Xmas light, grasses by windows. Anything attractive, low maintenance.
  • alley: pumpkins on a trellis, or ornamental gourds, cucumbers
  • back yard: brick fence in back, space for kids (nature ed, so they can run)

More garden discussion:

  • front more manicured than backyard
  • some plants can go to seed, but need some annuals for fall color
  • bulbs for spring
  • attractive - low maintenance
  • forget vegetables, but can grow herbs
  • trellised walk in backyard, to above windows
  • cold frame or greenhouse in backyard

Meeting: 10-1-08

  • First, let's make sure we can get everyone online
  • Look at Sustainability Requirements Form (from iGoogle)
  • Identify (really, confirm) realms for gardens
  • Let's take one realm and see if we can determine elements that will be in it - use matrix for input if we'd like
  • Plant/tree brainstorm for front
  • Consider inviting Celeste to meeting next week for input
  • Add'l ideas: fairy doors for kids

Meeting: 10-8-08

  • 11:00 Meet with Celeste
  • Hammer out front garden plants and trees
  • Discuss wrought iron fence (
  • Discuss sections from Alexander that I just found:
    • 238 - Filtered Light
    • 241 - Seat Spots
    • 242 - Front door bench
    • 245 - Raised flowers
    • 246 - Climbing plants
    • 247 - Paving with cracks between the stones

Meeting: 10-15-08

  • plants for alley
  • additional tree discussion
  • looking again at front of building - which entrance to use?
  • shall we call ironworks company?