Garden spot in Harmar

The Harmar community garden is finally ready for planting, thanks to employees from the Marietta Lowes Home Improvement store on Pike Street who recently built a dozen raised beds on the property located behind the Toy and Doll Museum on Gilman Avenue.

“I had given them the whole master plan for the garden, thinking they would be able to do a few of the raised beds-it seemed to me that doing the whole plan would be too much. But in two days they built 12 raised beds,” said Cindy Brown, local community garden coordinator.

One of several area Washington County Harvest of Hope community gardens, the Harmar plot was originally expected to be ready again for local gardeners this spring. It had been closed after Bermuda grass had taken over the garden, meaning ground level crops could no longer be planted there.

The raised beds are basically “table-top” gardens that can be easily worked by people who may not be able to stoop and bend in order to work a traditional ground-level garden. The beds also serve to elevate plants away from pesky weeds like the Bermuda grass.

“The Lowes crew built six lower raised beds and another six higher beds for the Harmar garden,” said Karen Kumpf, executive director of Washington County Harvest of Hope.

Now that the beds are installed, it’s not too late for interested folks to do some late-season planting in the garden, she said.

“They can still get in late crops like lettuce, carrots, or peas that will grow in late summer and fall,” Kumpf said, noting those wanting to plant in the Harmar garden can contact Brown at 374-7357.

“We had about 12 to 15 employees working on July 31 and Aug. 1. They really enjoy doing these projects, and we’re thrilled to be able to provide the community with raised beds for the garden,” said Dave Flinn, manager of the Marietta Lowes store.

He said each Lowes store is allotted a certain budget to do an annual project that benefits the entire local community.

“We accept suggestions, but then the employees get together and decide on a project that is within a scope that we can accomplish,” Flinn said. “We’re not contractors or engineers, but we can do one project a year to help the community.”

Last year Lowes employees helped with improvements at Marietta’s new dog park at Jackson Hill Park.

“We still have some small finishing touches on the Harmar community garden, but it’s ready to be used right now,” Flinn said.