“I’ve always thought it was good for non-profits to work together and not feel they have to be separate,” said Barbara Chase on a recent visit to our school. “I think we all benefit when people with similar interests work together.”
Barbara certainly has put her beliefs into practice for the Louis Braille School.
A master gardener belonging to Edmonds in Bloom — a local non-profit organization with a mission to improve the floral beauty of our city — she persuaded the group’s board members to donate the resources necessary to obtain an attractive wooden planter box, fill it with colorful fall foliage, and place it in front of the school a few weeks ago.
“I think beautifying the school is uplifting for the students, staff and for the parents that come in,” she said.
Barbara also contacted members of local Cub Scout Pack 300 and Boy Scout Troop 301, who, along with their parents, recently made two trips to the Louis Braille School to clear leaves from our parking lot and rain gutters, do some weeding, and begin the process of removing moss from the roof.
Barbara first became known to locally accomplished gardeners after entering an Edmonds in Bloom gardening competition. The judges were impressed with her work and eventually asked her to join the organization’s board.
For our 2007 and 2008 benefit auctions, she allied with Edmonds in Bloom to offer services described in last spring’s auction catalog this way:
Get a peek at some of Edmonds’ most beautiful backyards during the 2008 Edmonds in Bloom Garden Tour on Sunday, July 18, 2008.
Add to that a one hour consultation with Master Gardener Barbara Chase to help you with your yard and garden.
One of the winning bidders asked Barbara to advise her on growing plants in planter containers on the balcony of her condominium.
“You need to do things in a different way [for containers] than you do in a garden,” she said.
The other winner was an experienced gardener whose wife had very different ideas from his when it came to designing their garden.
“They asked my opinion about whether or not they should take out certain things,” Barbara recalled. “Sometimes people like someone other than themselves to say it’s okay to take out something they’re afraid to remove.
“But we live in the great Northwest, where everything grows very quickly. So I have to tell people, ‘Yes, it’s okay to take out that plant, because you’ll be able to grow five others in its place,'” she said, and laughed.
“There’s something about what happens when you watch things grow,” she added. “You put a little seed in the ground, later you divide plants and give some to other people when you have an excess, and you see them thrilled by their Shasta Daisies when they first start. Beginning gardeners like to have something that looks good right away. Then after that, you need a little more patience.”
If we’re lucky, Barbara will offer a consultation for our next auction (on March 21, 2009) and you can bid on her gardening knowledge to help you plan the best ways to watch things grow.