Two of our Sunnyvale Garden Club members, Faye and Jeanette, were out fundraising in the Sunnyvale area and were asked if our club would be interested in beautifying an area at the Christian Care Center in Mesquite, Texas. The director of Mission Development at the center, Randy Richey asked for colorful plants and flowers for their two end to end raised beds that spanned twenty four feet long and three feet wide, and seasonal annuals for seven barrel pots scattered around the courtyard. Faye and Jeanette proposed the project to Jonie, the Beautification chairperson and she decided to take on the project. An email was sent to club members inviting them to join Faye, Jeanette and Jonie in meeting with Randy and developing a plan to accomplish the beautification.
On October 25th, 2021 Jonie, Faye, Jeanette and Mary met with Randy at the center to see the raised beds and pots in the courtyard. The only plants in the raised beds were a Texas Star Hibiscus, two chives, some cannas and some weeds. There were seven barrel pots around the courtyard but two of them were broken down. One of the pots contained irises with only about two inches of dirt. Another pot contained a bamboo plant. There was a water hydrant pump and hose directly behind the raised beds that was leaking quite a bit and the ground was water soaked. We observed that there were many mature trees with large canopies covering the courtyard that would yield mostly shade with some sun at various times of the day. After some discussion with Randy, our planning team decided to throw the two broken pots away, relocate the Hibiscus to a ground level bed, relocate the cannas to the one pot that received the most sunlight, and throw the chives out. Randy made plans to contact his landscape workers to relocate the Hibiscus and cannas, remove chives and weeds from the raised beds, and contact a repairman to fix the leaking water hydrant pump, all at his cost. We asked Randy to invite residents to help us plant the pansies and for his residents and employees to be responsible for watering the plants. We offered to come back in the spring and fall to check on the plants and trim as needed. We planned to complete the project before November 22nd, and our budget was $500.
After several other planning meetings.
On November 4th, 2021, Robin purchased the soil amendments and Jonie and her husband (not a member of the Garden Club) transported the supplies to the center.
On November 8th, 2021, eight Sunnyvale Garden Club members (12% of the club), along with Randy and four residents (Robin’s mother included) met at the courtyard to plant. The residents declined to help, preferring to watch the process. In addition to the flowering shrubs previously mentioned, we planted 2 Hellebore, 2 Heuchera, 12 Dianthus, 4 Lemon Ball sedum, 4 Coneflowers, 3 Redbor kale, 4 cabbages, and 3 flats of pansies. Robin donated 6 daffodil bulbs which were added to the pot of irises. We fertilized with slow release fertilizer, topped the plantings with mulch and thoroughly watered everything. We finished the planting in two hours. We ended up having one half of a 20lb. bag of shale and 2 bags of mulch left over which were used for another garden club project. Randy was very appreciative of not only the amount of work that was accomplished in a timely fashion, but also the beautification that had taken place. He plans to have a sign made and posted at the raised bed to honor the Sunnyvale Garden Club. Mary Zaby, Randy’s Life Enrichment assistant also mentioned how beautiful the courtyard looked.
The planning team spent a total of fourteen hours planning for the project, amending the beds and pots, and planting the plants with the help of three additional garden club members. Individually we spent another eight hours shopping, purchasing and transporting plants and soil amendments. We stayed under budget spending $480.71. We completed the project nearly two weeks before the November 22nd deadline.