HOME OF HOPE
2019 (Mission Accomplished)
The Spade & Trowel Garden Club of Seaford recently created a Serenity Garden at the Delmarva Adult & Teen Challenge’s Home of Hope, an addiction recovery facility in Bridgeville.
On the site of a long-abandoned school, renovation was done to the buildings, creating a chapel, administration office and two dormitories. But when construction photos were first shown at local churches, the need for landscaping was quite evident to garden club members. An effort was launched by the club to beautify the grounds. The first site chosen turned out to be on top of a septic field. So did the second. Providing foundation plants for in front of the dormitories had to wait until the roofs were replaced. For Phase I, the club provided additional plants for landscaping just before the grand opening last year. Shortly after that, the club received a $1,000 grant from the National Garden Club’s “Plant America” fund to help pay for the project. Additionally, the club was successful in applying for a grant of $250 worth of tools from The Ames Companies, one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of gardening tools, which had teamed up with NGC to provide tools for local club projects. The club received two carts, two lengths of hose, rakes, shovels, hoes and hand tools, all of which were turned over to the Home of Hope for use in maintaining the garden.
In mid-September, several club members met with the administrator and six residents at the Home of Hope to stake out a 20-foot by 20-foot garden in a plot of sparse grass and weeds. With a truckload of purchased plants and donated plants from club members’ gardens, a garden began to take shape. Dozens of bags of mulch were spread on top of newspaper put down to suppress the weeds. Room was left for a bench, donated in part by the club, to be added later. Containers of elephant ears and flowering annuals anchored the corners. Three hours later, the Serenity Garden was a reality. Some of the shrubs are a bit bedraggled, and flags had to be used to indicate where dormant perennials were buried, but come spring, the garden should be a beautiful place to sit and enjoy.
As the poet Dorothy Frances Gurney wrote, “ One is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.”