Have you noticed the garden in front of the Fairmount Library lately? You really should take some time to walk through it the next time you stop by – it’s beautiful! And there’s a lot to admire and appreciate – it’s filled in with a lots of perennials and annuals and attracts and supports a variety of important pollinators, especially butterflies. There’s even a bench where you can sit and relax.
Here’s something you may not know about the Fairmount Garden – it is dedicated to the memory of a former Davenport Library Reference Librarian. Margaret Z Henry (we called her MZH) was the epitome of a professional librarian – meticulous with her research (long before the internet and google!), open and helpful to all no matter the request and generous with her knowledge and support, Margaret also had a wicked sense of humor and never hesitated to lend a helping hand to her friends and colleagues. When she died, far too young, the money collected for her memorial was given to the library to help establish the Fairmount garden. A stone engraved with a Jane Austen quote near the front entrance of the garden is dedicated to her memory.
The garden wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of our Garden Volunteers, headed up by Mary Davidsaver who has done an incredible job! Here’s her story:
I volunteered for gardening duty at Fairmount Library last year because I had a two-pronged mission. First, I wanted things to look nicer. Second, I wanted to save the milkweed for Monarch butterflies and their annual migration. Sometimes when you want something it’s up to you to step forward and make it happen.
So, I and two others volunteered our time to weed, plant, and water. We made progress through last summer’s hot, dry spell, but our numbers diminished. One of us had to relocate. One lost the extra time to volunteer due to a shift in her work schedule. By the end of the growing season, I was it.
Sadly, a lot of our efforts were erased by a winter with subzero temps and a wet spring that set its own records. But the plantings of the main flower beds came through and offered hope. And isn’t that what keeps a gardener going: New hope for a better year?
Inspiration for me was the return of the milkweed and the Monarchs. For other gardeners the calling could be tending to the roses, or to planting herbs and vegetables outside the children’s area. The grounds of Fairmount Library offer opportunity as well as need and volunteering is time well spent.
Mary also sent along some pictures of butterflies in the Fairmount garden. And you can follow more of Mary’s adventures at her blog.
Special thank you to Mary for this great write-up as well as her dedication to the Fairmount garden (and butterflies!) If you’d like to lend Mary a hand and volunteer with the Fairmount Garden Club, just stop by the customer service desk at Fairmount to sign up.