I am often scrambling around to get going in the morning. I hit the snooze button a few too many times and even the lure of a steaming cup of Joe and my oatmeal (maybe not as enticing as that coffee) does not always make me want to leap out of bed. Consequently, to get my steps in, I am often flying by the seat of my pants to get out the door and back home to start work timely.
One morning last week I had to do something for work before I went on my walk, and I needed to be back timely, so I couldn’t make a trip to Council Point Park. I was bummed as it was a beautiful sunny morning, rare around these parts, since today is the 118th day of rain we have had in SE Michigan in 2019 – it is pouring as I write this post. On that day, the sun was not overwhelming, just a pale version of what sun we have taken for granted for umpteen Springs, but it was sunny nevertheless, so I wanted to do more than just stroll in the neighborhood.
I live fairly close to Memorial Park and had read in the local paper that the kids from our City’s high school, a/k/a “The Green Team” had made it their motive to beautify some parks and public places around the City. Memorial Park was one of their projects. The students, along with a few volunteers, had planted milkweed at the park and were certified an official Monarch Waystation. Monarchs love their milkweed, but, to be certified as a Monarch Waystation, an area must meet other criteria and I wondered if the rose garden, that used to be tended by volunteers many decades ago, would contribute to this certification.
Since I had had a shorter morning trek than normal, I decided to head over and check it out. Memorial Park is very peaceful. I went to our annual Memorial Day Parade last year and it had been years since I watched the parade or the moving tributes to the City’s war dead after the fun festivities had ended.
So, I spent my morning meandering around Memorial Park, stopping to smell the roses as well.
The first stop was at the Memorial Pavilion area. Here is where the City honors its war dead from four conflicts: WWI, WWII, the Korean and Vietnam Wars. There are plaques to honor these servicemen and benches to sit and reflect on those brave people who died for their country and that we never knew.
There are words written on the memorial wall, alongside the plaques.
We even have a cannon in the memorial area.
The Fallen Soldiers Memorial is dedicated to Sergeant Craig Frank, a young Lincoln Park man, and member of the Army National Guard who lost his life on July 17, 2004 during Operation Iraqui Freedom, as a result of injuries from a rocket-propelled grenade that struck him from behind.
Right away I noticed there was flag bunting wrapped around the boots part of the memorial and it was gathered and fastened with a poppy, likely done at the Memorial Day Parade.
As I walked toward the garden area, I noticed a bench dedicated to another serviceman, Terry Rhodes.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn
I’m sure you have seen some variation of this quotation in the past. Many years ago, the rose garden at Memorial Park was a beautiful display, a riot of roses, tended to by volunteers with an exceptional green thumb. Back in those days, I, too, had a green thumb and a backyard full of roses, so I could appreciate those beautiful blooms, in every color from soft pastels to ruby red. But, over the years, the volunteers stopped tending to the roses, and, a few years ago, while walking around the Memorial Park grounds, gaining steps for my walking regimen, I saw the garden was in disrepair, with only the most tenacious of the bushes still existing, bloom-free and with weeds tangled up inside them.
My plan was to check out the freshly planted Monarch Waystion in case a sign had not been placed there as is often done, since I hope to make future afternoon stops when the weather is hot and sunny to get some photos of those beautiful Monarch butterflies.
I made that foray to the flower garden, but was surprised to see that there was not one, but four separate raised garden beds, each filled with various types of flowers. I was instantly sorry I had not ventured here earlier as the Iris blooms were starting to fizzle out.
The Bleeding Heart plants had very few of their delicate pink hearts. There were just dregs of the Lily of the Valley as well. I didn’t photograph any of the Lily of the Valley as they were just sparse now. Most of these plants would have flowered in late May to early June.
The roses have no doubt flourished with all the rain and I was amazed that the lack of sun and the abundance of rain had not caused the dreaded black spot fungal disease that eventually killed most of my tea roses and my “Stairway to Heaven” climbing rose as well. Now my “Home Run” roses are not looking great and one is a goner thanks to the wicked Winter weather. How about these beauties from the park though?
The volunteers had fun doodads placed around the four gardens as well …
And there were even these two glass cobalt blue cats.
Yup, I would say this little foray to the flower gardens was the cat’s meow!