1. Peace Garden with Peace Pole in front yard of Peace Center

    When we moved into an Atlanta challenged inner city neighborhood to create a Peace Center, we planted a Peace Pole "May Peace Prevail On Earth" first thing, creating a Peace Garden within the three old tall trees that surrounded it.

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  2. Labyrinth Community Gardens in front yard of Peace Center

    With the help of many volunteers we shaped a labyrinth garden of trails in the front yard, around the Peace Garden. Each section was developed based on recycled and rescued plants from all over Atlanta. We started with pieces of wood defining the trail, then used wood chips and finally graduated to monkey grass around the edges. Most of the plants are shade plants and drought resistant with 80% perennials and 20% annuals. We gather seeds from many of the plants and share them with the many neighborhood curb gardens we do.

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  3. Curb Vegetable Gardens in front yard of Peace Center

    With limited sun, Farmer Ryan rotatilled a long rectangle shaped strip of soil right next to the curb and with a truckload of compost donated by Bedminster, we planted a community garden that supplies our raw food needs. We grow something of everything that likes our climate and soil. Many of our baby starts come from Gaia Gardens (East Lake Commons), a five acre intentional community garden at the end of our street.

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  4. Friendship Garden in back yard of Peace Center

    This garden is in the shape of a "figure 8" which is an infinity symbol. It invites the walker to go around and around with no ending for a relaxing, walking meditation experience. Within this "figure 8" labyrinth garden are tiles that could not be included in the 1996 Peace Wall because they had advertising on them. There is a mini deva garden in the center of shells and outdoor original art. Lattice was donated to line the fence which gives the garden a very intimate, private feeling. There is a Peace Pole with the words "Goodwill", "Mindfulness", "Harmlessness", "Right Speech" & "Self-Forgetfulness". The Peace Mobile has a permanent home here, serving as an art car example for our project days. Everything is a shade plant with wild violets, day lillies, cannas, butterfly bush, nandina, hostas, monkey grass, mums, wandering jew, vinca, carolina jasmine & boxwood shrubs. There are compost areas which supply material for our expansion gardens into the neighborhood. The Peace Shed houses all the gardening tools for our projects.

    History of the Friendship Garden:

    Imagine in 1998 you are walking into the most neglected back yard you've ever seen. There is water damage, erosion, weeds so high you barely can walk without being scratched, fences covered with debris, discarded tires and other junk that someone just dropped into the mess, trash bags filled with garbage and more. It looks hopeless, but right behind you are volunteers ready to do service in the community. Here is their first challenge should they choose to accept it. And they do. The Navigators, a Christian Campus Group from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. began the long, arduous rehabilitation of the Peace Center (inside and out). Without heat, in the most damp, dark, smelly, mold & mildew environment you can imagine, they began the work. Once the yard was cleared, months of gardening projects produced the remaining necessary changes. It was a transformation representing the input and labor of many people. Individuals and groups committed to making a change in the world in just one small place that would bring many benefits.

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  5. Mailbox Garden turns into a Curb Garden

    There are many stories that can be documented about the revitaliztion of the inner city. The gardening stories are the best because they illustrate the power of beauty, nature, self esteem, love, education and our connectedness to a greater good.

    As Partnerships In Peace (PIP) created gardens of example at the Peace Center, the children across the street noticed the changes and asked how they could do one. While visiting their gramma Johnnie Mae, they became bored and wanted something to do. Initially with only tablespoons, cousins Stafford, Chauncey, Courtney & Caitlyn (ages 6-9) began to dig in the dirt which entertained them for hours. Later PIP supplied them with gloves and shovels to make the job easier. Then came the time for deciding what they would plant. Perennial hostas were initially recycled from Ms. Maxey's garden in N.E. Atlanta. The kids found old boards that edged the garden to keep the soil together. They learned about composting the newly turned soil with leaves and organic matter. They practiced cooperation as they decided "where" and "what" and "how" in the proccess of creating a mailbox garden. They learned the importance of weeding and watering. When their bikes squashed plants from carelessness they saw an immediate cause/effect and began to have more respect for a live plant that was not plastic as they thought.

    The Mailbox Garden flourished the first year (1998) with many addition as the plants and seeds were donated to the neighborhood. Then as Spring approached Johnnie Mae decided she was ready for a larger Curb Garden, so the expansion began. First Farmer Ryan rotatilled the soil, then all the grandkids and Johnnie Mae and PIP got out there and worked the soil. It took lots of time and hard work and when it was finished, Stafford planted his first tomato plant which produced huge big tomatoes he could share with his cousins which made him feel proud. Johnnie Mae was happy when she won a gardening award from the neighborhood.

    By 2002 Johnnie Mae planted her window box in the front of her house that had been there for 30 years and she'd never had the confidence to grow anything. Then we created a walking trail through her garden and doubled the size of the curb garden. Because this garden receives full sun most of the day, many things grow here that love the sun like marigolds, four o'clocks and other flowers.

    Beauty now reigns on this curb and it continues to bring joy to the children as they tend their garden with their grandmother whenever they visit.

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  6. Joanna's Garden

    At a very visual corner of our street, a curb garden was created and dedicated to the owners sister who before having health problems had performed much of the yards' improvements. With Joanna's loving touch gone, the yard looked sad, so we thinned out the Peace Center gardens and put hostas, monkey grass and marigolds together with rocks and stones and an old tree limb to create a work of art for all to visually enjoy.

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  7. More Curb Gardens

    There are now 8 curb gardens with more to come as we continue to receive donations from office parks that are throwing out perennials because they treat them as annuals. In fact, recently we noticed construction crews at Lindberg Train Station taking out a beautiful green space, so being at the "right place, right time" we received 9 holly shrubs, sage bushes, camilia shrubs and more and distributed them amongst our existing sites.

  8. East Lake Commons (ELC) Gardens

    Because we are propegating so many healthy, happy plants, we have more to share. Recently we helped a resident of ELC create a new green space in her lower level living space. Because it was full sun, we moved a whole slew of marigolds which had been planted in the spring and had grown to such proportion that they needed to be thinned. Although summer isn't a particularly good time to transplant, they have survived well and look beautiful.

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  1. "Secrets of the Maze" by Adrian Fisher
  2. "Earth Mazes" by Alex Champion, Earth Symbols, P.O. Box 145, Philo, CA 95466 #707-895-3375