FLOWERS BRING TOGETHER FAMILIES, COMMUNITY

June 04, 2002 11:00 pm
Allen Sharp, 12, left, Dylan Steele, 7, and Zach Steele, 5, (right) worked with their mothers, brothers and Cyndy Guthrie early Sunday morning to plant a flower garden around the base of the North Powder welcome sign. The three families donated their time to plant the donated plants and will take care of the garden through the summer. (The Observer/T.L. PETERSEN).
Allen Sharp, 12, left, Dylan Steele, 7, and Zach Steele, 5, (right) worked with their mothers, brothers and Cyndy Guthrie early Sunday morning to plant a flower garden around the base of the North Powder welcome sign. The three families donated their time to plant the donated plants and will take care of the garden through the summer. (The Observer/T.L. PETERSEN).

By T.L. Petersen

Observer Staff Writer

NORTH POWDER — Life lessons were sprouting just about as fast as flowers on the edge of North Powder.

Many hands make work easy. Dividing chores makes them fun.

Big kids get big shovels; smaller kids get smaller shovels.

Watch where you walk, and avoid stepping on the new flowers.

Within 40 minutes, the welcome sign on the west end of North Powder had a brand new flower garden surrounding it, complete with annuals and perennials.

Lisa Steele, her sons Dylan, 7, and Zach, 5; Sharon Sharp, her sons, Allen, 12, and Cole, 7; and Cyndy Guthrie created a new bit of town history.

The three families took on the community-brightening project just a little more than a week ago. The Steeles and Sharps provided the workforce for the Sunday morning project, and Guthrie, the knowledge and several of the plants.

Together, the families plan to keep the garden watered and weeded through the summer.

First, a few days earlier, the gardeners got a load of dirt brought to the sign. Rocks surround the new garden plot, but will soon be replaced with an edging of used railroad ties.

The three families gathered at 8 a.m. to do the real work. As Guthrie unloaded the back end of her pickup truck, the boys were digging holes for the new plants.

"Here?"

"Over there."

"Here?"

"That's good."

Older brothers helped little brothers and then everyone took turns gently easing the new plants into the prepared holes. Guthrie added final touches of Miracle Gro, and the boys pondered how to add the sign indicating the garden was a volunteer effort supported by a SOLV community grant.

And then everyone stopped to admire their work.

Guthrie, the others said, provided about 80 percent of the plants, some from her own gardens and some she was able to get donated from nurseries. Sharp added more plants, as did others. In total, about 80 plants were used.

"It's a real community effort," Steele said.

Guthrie added her own lessons, suggesting where to place the perennials and how to add in the annuals.

"A few at a time is probably best," she told the others, thinking ahead.

Planting a colorful garden around the sign, even as semi trucks rumbled past to park outside the cafe, is among numerous projects under way this month as North Powder prepares for its centennial celebration June 29.

Reach T.L. Petersen at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it