The Perennial Garden

From the CRN September 2015 Blog

How bad was it ?

OK, I will sound a little biased in this blog. I am very proud of the role our group has played in the gentrification of the corridor. From planning to zoning cases to litter patrol and a beautification project, we have been there for 10 years.

A little background starting in 2009 - four years after the Canton Road Steering Committee process - not much progress had been made in the way of improvements. In 2008 we led a collaborative team effort to draft Design Guidelines which were adopted in 2009, but we were looking for some tangible signs of progress. We hoped for completion of sidewalks on Canton Hwy funded by the 2006 SPLOST, but only the Central Business area was addressed. Residents had begun asking for sidewalks on this urban arterial starting in 1997 (records obtained from CDOT). We were not successful with that effort in 2009 and directed our attention to the 2nd Parks Bond referendum. Working with the owner Mr. Yazdi, we nominated a 7 acre tract with 3 acre lake on Kurtz Rd for purchase as passive greenspace. Our efforts landed the parcel in the top 10, but not the top tier. In 2010 Chairman Sam Olens made the decision to not issue the bonds due to a worsening economy.

With blighted vacant properties in the area and public right of ways with grass overgrown to a height of 2.5 feet in places, our group wondered what we could do to make a difference in the area.

The answer developed along two lines: one was litter control and the other was some type of beautification project for the connector. We applied to GDOT for the Adopt a Highway program and also asked GDOT's Wildflower program if they would plant Dwarf Cosmos in the median of the Connector in 2009. The flowers were the nicest thing that our community had experienced in a long time. GDOT replanted them in 2010 and we realized that if we wanted to see flowers on the connector, we would need to begin a garden. We received the necessary permission from GDOT and the City of Marietta. The Perennial Garden was started on Earth Day, April 22, 2010. 

The garden developed over time – many of the plants and bulbs were from our members' gardens. 

As the garden grew in size and plants were added, another development took place that added to the area's improvements. South Central Properties rezoned the former equipment rental site for a Heating and Air conditioning contractor- Cool-Air. They invested in upgrades to the buildings and added substantial landscaping and built sidewalks.

By Spring 2013 and 2014 the Perennial Garden had become very pretty with masses of daffodils, thrift and tulips covering the 950 sq ft area.

After the daylilies had bloomed, our garden featured very few summer blooming plants for the large 950 sq ft size. In March 2015 CRN applied for a Neighborhood Love Your Block Grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta for funds to enhance the garden in the summer months.

We were awarded a 3 month grant and completed the project in August. The perennial garden now features many summer-blooming plants including Lantana, Verbena, Purple Coneflower, Russian Sage and Autumn Joy Sedum.

The maintenance of our garden goes on, and we appreciate the time and donations from all of our garden friends.

The perennials planted will return each year and we hope that our garden will continue to be an asset for the community as a gateway to the Canton Road corridor.

On Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 Marietta City Council recognized Canton Road Neighbors for their volunteer work on this beautification project.

This blog (September 2015) with photos can be downloaded as a PDF file below, as well as the Summer 2015 PDF which focuses on the gardening activities and plants funded by the Neighborhood Grant.

J Brown,
Dec 13, 2015, 6:23 PM
J Brown,
Dec 14, 2015, 11:27 AM