Introducing Mt Laurel’s Community Garden
Mt Laurel was created with a vision of a community designed in concert with nature. The new Community Garden extends that vision as a place for Mt Laurel residents to contribute to and enjoy the fruits of their labor – or rather plants, herbs, and vegetables.
Located on Kessler Avenue, the Community Garden site plan was designed by landscape architect and Mt Laurel resident, David Brush. Surrounded by a beautiful picket fence, raised garden beds and hardscaped pathways create a peaceful garden atmosphere.
In appreciation of hosting the 2016 Southern Living Idea House, Southern Living donated the Vernacular Garden Shed that anchors the garden. Designed by Eric Moser for James Hardie, the Garden Shed offers a charming place for storing gardening supplies or taking in the views from the porch. Read Southern Living’s article featuring Mt Laurel’s Vernacular Garden Shed here.
Then, on a sunny day in mid-November, as if by magic, the Community Garden site was transformed into a beautiful Native Plant Teaching Garden beside the Community Vegetable Garden. But far from magic, the new garden plantings are the result of careful planning and a lot of hard work by members of the Mt Laurel Garden Group with the native plants and Scott Stone with the vegetable garden, along with the help of funds contributed by EBSCO and the Garden Group.
The Garden Group planted and will maintain the four boxes containing native plants and shrubs in front of the gate and a center bed containing an all-seasons wildflower garden and bird bath. The remaining boxes in the garden are filled with vegetables and herbs and are managed by Mt Laurel resident Scott Stone and community volunteers.
“In establishing and maintaining a teaching garden in the existing beds, the Garden Group’s objective is to provide a place where residents can learn about native plants and see how beautiful a native plant landscape can be,” according to the organization’s chairman, Rick Tice. The plants and shrubs will be identified to help residents when choosing plants that will meet the Mt Laurel covenant requirements for their own yards. The new garden, in its sunny location, provides a contrast to Mt Laurel’s Bryson Square Arboretum which features native trees and shrubs in a shady environment.
The vegetable plantings include tomatoes, eggplants, okra and peppers. “The garden’s vegetable and herb harvest is open to all residents of Mt Laurel regardless of their involvement in the garden work,” Scott explains. Residents are asked to take only what is needed for one meal at a time to keep the available ripe produce for other families to share.
Sue Webb, from Petals from the Past in Jemison, helped select and design the placement of the native plants, shrubs and vines. “In Alabama, we are very fortunate to have so many plants from which to choose. Planting native for us is not a sacrifice, but a way to make our homes and gardens more beautiful and make them more functional for wildlife, birds, bees and butterflies,” according to Sue.
With the new Community Garden, Mt Laurel continues to offer an active, outdoor lifestyle unmatched by traditional neighborhoods. Schedule your community tour today to discover the beautiful Town of Mt Laurel.