Pictured above in no particular order: Josie Green, Matt Koppen, Gary Gobble, Josie P, Jackie P, Kristen P, and Carrie Gobble. Photos courtesy of Matt Green.
It’s always island time in the Catalina West sector of Crestwood, and with the help of our neighbors and community, our southern Tahiti Dr. island is looking a little more like paradise every day!
It all started with a vision and a community coming together to raise the funds necessary to build the paradise we were envisioning. With a Savers fundraising drive (see March 18th post on our blog), GoFundMe donation page, and anonymous donors we were well on our way.
To assist with our fundraising efforts, neighbors presented their project and willingness to dedicate time and efforts to the project by applying for a grant with Beautify Crestwood. We put our vision for our project to pen and paper, snapped a picture of the existing location of our project, and our dedicated team members (aka neighbors) signed the grant application and submitted it to the Beautify Crestwood committee in hopes for approval. A short time later we were awarded a matching grant from Beautify Crestwood (up to $500) and our vision began to become a reality. If you have any visions for projects in your Crestwood neighborhood, I highly encourage you to apply for a matching grant from Beautify Crestwood. It was quick and easy, and we couldn’t have done our project without them.
We also couldn’t have taken on this project without the help of some horticultural students at Meramec Community College in Mr. Jerry Pence’s classes. We presented our project desires for a native plant-based garden; with plenty of color, bee and butterfly attracting flowers and plants; and plants that provide beautiful, colorful flowers in every season. May seem like a lofty goal, but Barbara Newsham, from one of Mr. Pence’s classes, rose to the occasion and delivered beyond our expectations. Many other community garden project ideas were presented to Mr. Pence’s class as well. He uses our projects are part of his teaching curriculum, giving the students real life projects that consider real life circumstances and conditions.
After a soil sample and quick consultation with our local advisor Ms. Gloria Elkins (with minor tweaks and subsequent approval) the island project was ready for action! Mrs. Josie Green purchased our plant roster (listed below) from Jost Greenhouses (specializing in Midwestern plants) to begin to beautify our southern Tahiti Island. And since the southern Tahiti Island was previously populated with three Hawthorns trees, the City of Crestwood cut them down for us so we could start with a blank canvas. Now, since the ordering of the plants was done (though no easy task), the hard part was truly about to begin. The digging!
If you’ve ever thought island life was easy, breezy, you obviously missed out on our planting day! With the sun, high in the sky and sweat dripping down our foreheads, many neighbors came (adults and tikes) to help dig holes and plant our new crop of beautiful flowers and plants for all to enjoy. We look forward to the variety of bees and butterflies that will come to visit our Island. We hope all of the Catalina West neighbors and visitors will come visit and enjoy our new island life as well!
Plants Used in the Southern Tahiti Island: Dwarf Lilac, Blue Eyed Prairie Grass, Missouri Black Eyed Susan, Laura Phlox, Wild Geranium, Aster, Blue False Indigo, Columbine, Lanceleaf Coreopsis, Purple Coneflower, and an Appalachian Red Bud Tree.
Most all are native to Missouri and will thrive in our local gardens with full sun and plenty of water. if interested in using any of these plants in your garden visit jostgreenhouses.com.
For matching grant information from Beautify Crestwood for your next project email Beautifycrestwood@gmail.com.