Bowood Garden & Home celebrated its 10th Anniversary last Saturday. It seems hard to believe it's been in existence for that long, and at the same time hard to imagine the location has ever been anything other than the most elegant urban garden center anywhere. If all you know of this corner of the Central West End is what it is now, you would be surprised to learn that at one time a graveyard of abandoned cars occupied the corner property at Olive and Walton. The main building to the east was in such a derelict state that, shortly after John McPheeters purchased the property, the back wall fell into the alley.
The building that now houses The Studio, entry shown above, is accessible from the annual and perennial garden, shown through the windows below. The building, which was originally a residence fronting on Washington Avenue, has been completely renovated and re-imagined as an elegant light-filled meeting spot for classes, workshops, lectures and events. The bones of the structure remain, as evidenced in the original fireplace and beautiful staircase.
During Saturday afternoon's event, an instructor from Perennial St. Louis showed children how to make bog boxes called "pollinator palaces," above and below, and seed papers (not photographed).
Debuting The Studio at Bowood 11:00 - 2:00 Potting natives with Christine 11:00 - 2:00 Bowood vase throwing demonstration with Patrick O'Brien 12:00 - 3:00 Upcycled crafts with Perennial 3:00 - 5:00 Cocktails & Cupcakes from Cafe Osage & SweetArt
Instead of my usual Sunday post of a single photograph of something lovely in an urban garden, I decided to feature photos from a visit I made to the CWE Farm last Thursday morning. It's where I took my latest banner photo of a migrating Monarch as well.
The history of the CWE Farm, located at 5057 Waterman just west of Kingshighway, is described on the farm's website here. Urban Farmer Arthur Culbert, the inspiration behind the project, is shown walking down the alley from New City School with 4th graders and their teacher, Denise Willis.
Learning about and working at the CWE Farm is part of the 4th grade curriculum on citizenship. On Thursday morning, the children learned they'd be picking apples and cutting okra for clients of the neighborhood's food pantries located at Trinity Episcopal and Second Presbyterian Churches.
Corn needed to be shucked and put into a basket to dry. The dried corn will be popped by the children for the food pantries. And yes, they were told, while the food is grown for people less fortunate than they are, they will indeed be able to sample what they've grown.
Fruit trees donated by supporters of the farm ring the perimeter. The trees have produced 200 apples and 150 peaches this year. There are plum trees too. Each tree has a handmade wooden marker bearing the donor's name.
Arthur used okra picking as a teachable moment describing what the plant is and how it grows.
The entire class surrounded Carmen the scarecrow for a photo op before heading back to school. Also shown in the photograph, right, is neighbor and CWE Farm helper Jill Sayer.
A close-up of okra above and chard in photograph below. The CWE Farm has produced a whopping ton of produce during the 2015 growing season.
The last photo shows one of two charming fairy houses constructed by 3-to-5 year old New City School students.