The promise of spring whispers from buds. birds and these brave snowdrops peeking out, nodding their modest blooms to say goodbye to winter. All around us now, the exposed earth is breathing life into sentient beings sharing this beautiful valley. The banks of the Entiat melt, snow recedes up hills, spring runoff will soon carry all that she can in a rush downstream. Gratitude is expressed. Gardens are planted. The rewards are manifold. Good exercise, fresh air, connection with the earth and most obviously - food and beauty! What more could one want!?
Companionship with other gardeners!
Have you seen this?!! After a long winter, to be getting excited together about our gardens is sure to be rewarding! The seeds from last year's exchange grew lovely and delicious lettuces, tomatoes, peppers in my garden, but I could have done a lot better with my cucumbers.
Be sure to call or stop by the library to ask Magi anything you might want to know about the event. And don't forget to check out the helpful and fun gardening books.
The main story I want to share with you is some of the history of Rainbow Gardens, a project that started in 1949 by The Entiat Garden Club to clean up an unsightly dump. It is interesting to read the full account as written by Ruth Scofield who submitted a portfolio and essay to the "More Beautiful America" contest sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens.
Ruth Scofield's essay is contained in the album titled "Entiat's Rainbow Gardens" which is cherished amongst many other historical books at the Entiat Musuem.
"The Sun was setting lower into the west as the last sprinkler was screwed into place and the valve was opened, turning water into the pipes. A fine mist arose and to those standing on the brow of the hill there appeared a rainbow, arched across the ravine. Rainbow Gardens! That is how it got its name.
The rainbow was real enough but anything even remotely suggesting a garden was entirely imaginary. What has been poetically referred to as a "ravine" was actually an ugly gully filled with sage brush, greasewood, cheat grass and thistles. The place was a mess.
Besides being a mess, it was theoretically a city street within the incorporated limits of the town of Entiat which has a population of 500. Entiat, by the way is pronounced " En'tee-at. The gully was on a side hill so steep that it was of no possible value as a street, but it had been functioning brilliantly as an unofficial city dump.
Now, lets go back a couple of years. The Entiat Garden Club, many of whose members live on the apple ranches surrounding the town, is a very active organization. In 1947 this group took the lead in a community-wide drive to clean up several unsightly places and among them was this gully then known as Davis Street.
On a day proclaimed and well publicized as clean-up day a committee from the Garden Club and one from the Commercial Club attacked Davis Street and hauled away 15 truck loads of old cans, bottles, and the usual refuse found in such places. Much of the help came from those living outside the town. In Entiat, little attention is paid to city boundaries.
Considerable pride was felt in the job that had been done well until the next spring it was discovered that thoughtless people had kept right on dumping in the same place. So that spring, ( 1948 ) members of the Garden Club supervised a group of Campfire girls in giving the old gully its second going over, and a volunteer truck once more hauled away the refuse.
Now that sort of thing could have gone on forever because there is always someone willing and able to provide rubbish. there was a choice between getting public spirited citizens rounded up each spring to clean up Davis Street, or fixing up Davis Street so that it wouldn't be such a temptation. Either choice meant plenty of work but there isn't much future in pulling tin cans out from under sage brush, so the Garden Club decided to have a try at beautification. The city councilmen gave their permission and agreed to furnish water but the Garden Club assumed all other responsibilities, including buying and laying the pipe to carry the water. In Entiat miracles can be achieved when water is applied to the soil, but without it there is nothing. "
Thus begins the saga of Entiat Rainbow Gardens, and I will continue the story as told by Ruth Scofield if there is interest
Here are a few photos from the album. Ms. Scofield gives an apology with her letter of introduction to the More Beautiful America committee on the quality of the photos, as they were too small to be considered for the contest. This was unfortunately why Entiat did not appear to have been a winner of that contest.
Rainbow Gardens continues to be a charming park situated kitty-corner to the school, with a great view of Numeral Mountain. The young saplings planted a few years by 5th Graders, the Entiat Tree Board, and the expert leadership of Patrick Diehm are just starting to bud.
This last photo is taken from the hill above the museum.