Garden celebrates a birthday Residents cherish 'Garden of Love'

September 03, 1992|By Amy P. Ingram | Amy P. Ingram,Contributing Writer

The "Garden of Love," a flower garden that decorates the front of the Severna Park Post Office, will celebrate its 30th anniversary in January hale and hearty, thanks largely to Severna Park Kiwanis club members Ralph and Shirley Glasgow.

"It's my special project," said Mr. Glasgow, 67, a former Kiwanis club president, "and my labor of love."

The Glasgows have tended the garden for over five years, planting hundreds of magnolias, pogonias, black-eyed susans, yuccas, daffodils and tulips.

Weeding and watering the flowers as often as three times a week, the Glasgows say they have spend more time on the post office garden than their own garden at home, which now withers from neglect.

A similar fate is unlikely for the post office garden.

"The garden has never before been cared for with such tenderness," says Leo Eckert, 76, the club's only remaining charter member.

Mr. Eckert, a two-time club president, remembers when the garden was planted on June 3, 1963, under Agriculture and Conservation Chairman John Beall.

"A committee of 12 worked on the project," he said, "moving 16 tons of dirt out and in, and planting several shrubs and 300 tulips. Work continued for many months."

On June 30 of 1963, the gardens were dedicated by U.S. Rep. Carleton Sickles.

Five years later, the garden and its active tenders received a "Certification of Merit" under President Lyndon B. Johnson's "Natural Beauty Program".

The garden is a gift to Severna Park from the Kiwanis club. "It's a visual display of service to the community," Mr. Eckert said.

Club members help with the seasonal planting each year.

"They're there," said Mr. Glasgow, "and willing any time I ask them to help."

Keeping the garden going this summer has been a struggle, the Glasgows said, first because of the heat, then later because of the week-long rains.

After heavy rains in August, two bags of dead flowers were picked and discarded.

Mr. Glasgow said he also worries about how the winds created by speeding vehicles affect the flowers, because of their proximity to Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard.

But even with those concerns, he admits, "the gardens are getting better every year."

Reaction to the well-maintained gardens has been outstanding.

Carl Ostiguy, an employee of the Post Office for over 10 years, said the gardens brighten up the office.

"When I give people directions here," he said, "I tell them to look for the flag pole and the beautiful gardens."

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