- Author: Sharon L. Rico
In the spring of 2007, the Solano County Master Gardeners took on a project of designing, planting and maintaining the Children’s Memorial Garden on Beck Ave., in Fairfield. The dream for this little garden was a colorful, happy place to honor the children who died as a result of violence in Solano County. The garden, when the Master Gardeners were first introduced, was barren, full of weeds and had rocks and boulders haphazardly dumped throughout. Not what the county had originally envisioned.
Master Gardener, Carolyn Allen, created a design plan and in April of 2007, a crew of Master Gardeners arrived to place plants that were ordered by Solano County Grounds Supervisor, Jim Simon. The garden has matured into a lovely, peaceful setting that is enjoyed by the employees at Solano Health and Social Services, the clients using that facility, and the general public.
This spring, vegetables were added for a bit of whimsy. There are strawberries, tomatoes, an eggplant, celery and red Swiss chard. The plants are thriving. In fact, the tomatoes and strawberries have fruit which is ripe and ready to pick. These plants are labeled with wooden stakes next to them.
Two Bunny Tail grasses (Lagurus ovatus) were added early this year, and protected with metal cages. This particular plant had been placed previously, but resembling a weed, it was sprayed with an herbicide. We’re hoping the cages and wooden stakes will keep them from future demise.
Every year on the last Friday in April, a lunchtime ceremony is held at the little garden. Local dignitaries speak, a Children’s Memorial flag is flown and parents of these little victims come to honor “our” children. This year, fourteen pairs of children’s shoes were placed on a hopscotch board to represent the young victims in 2011.
From February to November, Master Gardeners, show up early at the garden to clean the litter, deadhead plants, add new plants, pick veggies, fertilize and generally maintain the dream now realized. It is a labor of love to maintain the Children’s Memorial Garden.