If you have driven by the corner of West Wain and Missouri streets, you may have wondered about the activity taking place on the empty lot next to the historical Frizel-Welling house (across from The Cash-Book Journal).
Rocks from the foundation of the building that once stood on that corner were dug up in July, and trees, shrubs and flowers have been planted.
On Wednesday, Nov. 23, workers from Custom Cut Fabrication installed an archway to make an entrance to the property.
This open space at the edge of Uptown Jackson will be a “pocket park” called “Taylor Twins Memorial Garden.” Those dug-up rocks were used to make dry-stack walls at the edges of the garden and bases to benches.
The garden is owned and is being funded by Steve Ford, who owns the corner lot and the Frizel-Welling house next door. Although it is privately owned, the park is open to the public.
Ford’s grandfather had a plumbing business in the building that stood where the park is now.
The “Twin Sisters” (for whom the garden is named) are Steve’s mother, Lucille Ford, and her sister, Louise Taylor. Both were Jackson residents. Lucille was involved in missionary work (that’s how she met her husband), and Louise was an artist.
There are two intertwining paths in the park that represent the two sisters. One is made of flagstone and the other is mulch. There are also three benches, some decorative rocks and light posts.
Cassi Holcomb of Cassi Bock Landscaping did the design and planting of the garden, which is filled with plants native to America. “That (native plants) is a passion of his (Ford’s) and mine,” said Holcomb.
The idea for a pocket park came from Janet Sanders, a building and planning superintendent with the City of Jackson and a member of the Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization. She mentioned the idea to Ford, who was interested but wanted some control over the project because it was his property.
Planning for the park started about a year ago, Holcomb said. “We broke ground in July and worked off-and-on to get the stones out of the ground. We began planting when it was planting time again.”
Work is now complete, although Holcomb said she wants to touch up the border area between the garden and the house, and a plaque is to be installed that will give more information about the Taylor Twins and the native American plants.
The garden contains 1,700 plants, most of which are perennial (they go dormant instead of die in winter). They are going dormant now but will bloom in the spring. It will take awhile for the plants to become established. “By the third year they will really shine,” said Holcomb.
A dedication or ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held during “Jackson in Bloom,” which has not been scheduled for 2017 but usually is at the end of April.
In addition to being a relaxing spot to meditate or eat lunch, the park will be used as a teaching tool. “It’s a learning garden,” Holcomb said. “I’m utilizing it to teach others. I plan to have the two horticulture classes at the high school come twice a year. I have invited grade school teachers to have a field trip, perhaps for a scavenger hunt to identify plants and flowers.”
The Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization and Holcomb will be involved in the ongoing maintenance of the garden.