Monday, July 18, 2016

Center for Home Gardening

I like to pretend the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening is my home.
The outside is nice.  The entire Center for Home Gardening is on 8.5 Acres.  There are countless projects to see, plenty of ideas to try in your own garden.  Specially trained Master Gardeners are on duty to answer questions.  There is a walk-in Plant Doctor service . . Honest!  if you bring in a sample from your ailing plant. an expert will help with information, tips and advice.  There are classes and oodles of free pamphlets filled with information about anything garden.

This is NOT why I pretend, tough.

There’s a Great Room that always sparks my imagination.
Cozy corner especially nice in winter.  It’s peaceful and quiet on any kind of day.  (But, warming by the fire on a chill day is excellent.)
The walls are windows all around.  Plants preferring different types of light teach us their sunlight preferences.
Here are some morning sun plant-people.
Here is the North Window.  Do you suppose these plants yearn for winter?

Look!  A Tree Living Inside!

 isn’t this wonderful?  A little forest tree, right inside.

Here are plants happier to see the sun set.  (West Window)

Facing South, these are mostly cactus-plants.

Outside, there are lots of home gardening ideas.  before we set outside, let’s check out the tree once more . . .
‘bye for now, baby tree! 

Center for Home Gardening Outside Ideas

 Just stepping out the front door, water features, plantings, in pots or yard, gathering spaces . . .once there was an entire section dedicated to planting around mailboxes.  It was festive.
There are ideas for urban living.  Here’s an outdoor kitchen and entertaining area.
Complete with Grill
Here’s a peek at a teeny urban garden.  There’s seating, a water feature, statuary, super cool trees.  The possibility of a quiet paradise in the middle of crowded city spaces.  (click on photo for expanded view)

Let’s begin walking towards the front gate, okay?

A shaded walk about allows protection for us and shade plants.

These portals give inviting glimpses into other types of garden areas.  Does your yard look like this?

I’m ready to head home.

Let’s pass the Chinese Garden along the way. 

‘bye for now!
 



Thursday, June 30, 2016

Conversations with Sleeping Heroes

Days of ceremony happen on occasion.  Flags fly high. Marching bands and parades fill the avenues.   Uniformed dignitaries  stroll to the stage to deliver a speech.  Most of the hours, days and years are quiet.  Good times to hold conversations with sleeping heroes.

 Ten acres were set aside by soldiers in 1826 for burial ground.  Elizabeth Ann Lash, infant daughter of an officer is the first recorded burial.
In March 1863, the U.S. Army established the Jefferson Barracks Post Cemetery.  The cemetery covers 310 acres.  The area sits on bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River.
 In 1866, the Secretary of War designated the post cemetery as a national cemetery.  The Civil War brought remains of many fallen to rest.  In 1922 WW I Veterans required a medical center.  WW II required land from the military post for cemetery space.   Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery became a central location for group interments.  Sleeping Heroes, every kind, color and their limitless stories are here.
Every Row, from every angle – always straight.
spaces for gatherings
There are several shelters placed around the cemetery called “committal shelters.”  There are heroes, along with their spouses, from many different belief systems.  I like the regard for feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others I find here.  Many of these heroes did not know this respect and inclusiveness in their waking life.

Visiting Columbaria at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery

I passed the word “Columbarium” a few times.  I admit I did not know understand until reaching a hill top.  It was such a lovely place, I decided to stroll around.
This part of the cemetery has newer dates.  There are nice places to rest and reflect.
 It feels good to listen to the breeze all around, and feel a sense of hope.
Quiet and Comfort is built right in.  It’s as if we are welcome to sit a while.

Conversations with Sleeping Heroes

(some else has come to spend time)

Monuments honor different parts of the story.  There is a monument to Civil war dead, Confederate dead,  WW II, Korean War, Vietnam and the Gulf War.

There are memorials for War Unknowns.

There is a red granite boulder commemorating officers and soldiers who died at Fort Bellefontaine.

One of the older monuments is dedicated to 175 soldiers of the 56th U.S. Colored Infantry.

There is a monument by artist John K. Daniels to honor the 164 Minnesotan officers and soldiers buried at this national cemetery.

There are eight recipients of the Medal of Honor and three Revolutionary War veterans.

U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Michael Blassie was shot down over South Vietnam.  His remains were sent to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.  After a DNA test, his parents asked to bring him home to Jefferson Barracks.

The stories seem to continue forever.

 



 


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Old Stone Church – Faith Des Peres

There’s a little rock church, once called “The Old Meeting House” by early settlers, was the original home of Faith Des Peres, a Presbyterian Church in Des Peres, Missouri.  Elijah P. Lovejoy was one of the early ministers here.  Rev. Dr. Anne Epling is their minister today.  I got to meet her leaving the Original Stone Faith Des Peres.  The congregation continues to hold services right here a couple of times a year – Memorial Day Sunday happened to be one of those days.  I met three people packing up to leave, all of them kind and delightful.  I’m tempted to visit their current, modern facility . . but, that’s another story.
In 1833, three families donated one acre each for the meeting house which was to include a cemetery.  Many of the grave markers for families that go back many generations and still live in the area.
 It’s interesting to know the people donating this land were slave owners, because there are stories about “The Old Stone Meeting House” was a stop on the Underground Railroad.
There is a sign on property sharing part of the story.  In 1983 one small marker was placed to memorialize those who worked for others and were never free.
one stone for many lives

The facility has been restored.  It hasn’t been an easy road over the years.  It wasn’t always top priority to maintain an old stone structure, but the building lasted long enough for the 1970’s enthusiasm of a new minister, Rev. Robert W. Tabscott.  Rev. Tabscott had a passion for historical preservation, diversity and a better quality of life.  He inspired many in the congregation to save the Original Old Stone Meeting House, and it seems that project, along with many others has remained part of the foundation of their church community. 
Air conditioning, electric lights, up to code and ready for the future., Faith Des Peres has offered all of us a hearty welcome and invitation to attend services, at the little stone church, or at their modern facility.  I have the feeling it’s a fine place to be.

The Original Stone Meeting House/Faith Des Peres Church is found @ 2250 North Geyer Road, 63131 – (Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day Weekend, 1st Sundays of July and August – perhaps other fun events, like Easter Egg Hunts)

 and

11155 Clayton Road 63131 (on “Normal Sundays”)
10:30 AM (but, you might want to check – 314-432-8029)

I suspect the music will be great.



Monday, May 30, 2016

Beautiful Day in Benton Park

It was a Gorgeous Saturday.  I was out the door early, but – not early enough.  “The Garden” was surrounded by parking guards, whose job was keeping an overflow of vehicles from the lot.  Tower Grove Park was already wall to wall people.  It was time to find some quiet.  So, this week,  the learning curve of a new camera begins at Benton Park.
I really like the Benton Park neighborhood.  It’s diverse, sweet to the eye and their history is rich with every kind of city story possible.  (and, I do mean, this part of St. Louis proper goes back to rowdier days.)  Someday I’ll take you for a cuppa and share stories, but today we’ll simply stroll around the park.
 Benton Park covers a little more than 14 acres.
There are two man made lakes, a recreation building, playground, plenty of paths and nice places to sit and enjoy the day.

 Okay, look at this fabulous – I don’t even know what to call it:
There’s a grassy field, a few picnic benches, and this cool looking place.  I wonder if they hold concerts here?

There’s another beautiful pond on the other side.
During early-ish 1800’s expansion of St. Louis, land from the city commons was set aside for parks, including Benton Park.  A small portion of this land was already fenced off as a cemetery.  But, in 1865 a city ordinance was passed and all remains were relocated.
Originally this was called “City Park.”  It was renamed to honor Thomas Hart Benton, the first U.S. Senator representing Missouri.


Circling back around, there’s a memorial to Freidrich Hecker, a German-American Hero.  When the monument was officially installed, over 15,000 people attended the ceremony.

Plenty of celebrations are held at Benton Park.  The two that look interesting to me this year are the 150th Birthday Party on June 25th (2016,) and August 13th, we are invited to “Gospel In The Park.”    If it turns out to be great music, I might have to show up.
 



Thursday, May 19, 2016

Lime Kiln

The answer to my “What is that?” outburst was, “It is a Lime Kiln.”
 Forest and ferns all around and this tall 
chimney-ish whatever in the woods.  
Missouri is full of surprises.
I traveled out towards Wildwood, which used to seem far away, and used to be one of my favorite places.  Now the road is store after store all the way out to a new college and shopping center.  
I saw a sign directing me to some woods
 and decided it would be a refreshing view.
I wondered if this was what the land looked like to early settlers, or maybe natives.  It sure seemed a good setting for a movie.
Turns out there was more to find than my performing arts fantasy.  This place is called Rockwoods Reservation.  Trying to find out what, exactly the name means is fun.  The land is cared for by the Missouri Department of Conservation.  I sent them a question, they were kind enough to respond, but it was the same information on the print outs posted on the rules, regulation and information sign.

“Rockwoods” must have come from the trees and limestone rocks found everywhere you step.  “Reservation” is a bit challenging, no natives live there, perhaps it’s being held for some other purpose, someday.
This beautiful land was a place trappers walked through in the 1700’s to get to the new settlement of Saint Louis to sell fur.  In the 1800’s Ninian Hamilton received a Spanish Land Grant and built a home for his family.  Eventually mineral resources were discovered on the land and  Glencoe Mining Company took ownership in the 1850’s.  It took massive amounts of wood to burn limestone rock – into powder.  There is a list of things limestone powder is used for, the one I remember best was mortar in brick homes.  The land was stripped bare before the company went broke.

There are several Lime Kilns to be found along the trail.  They are 40 feet high.  The thick walls have bolts in them to allow expansion when rocks became super hot.  Fires burned every day, and men would come to pull the powder out from the mouth of these huge structures.

In 1938 St. Louis County began taking care of the land.  
It took 70 years for the beautiful forest I admired to grow. 
 Speaks highly of Nature’s Design, hm?
there’s fencing to encourage people to be safe
 here’s a bench – a little place to rest – and consider