By JOSHUA PHILLIPS
July 3, 2013
To celebrate the long-standing history of the Historic Pendleton Heights neighborhood, an orchard and historic garden will be planted.
The nearly vacant lot on the southwest corner of Lexington and Montgall in Pendleton Heights will serve as a community orchard and historic garden, once completed in the fall. The historic garden will showcase trees from Pendleton Heights and the Historic Northeast grown since 1837. Pendleton Heights Neighborhood Association (PHNA) President Jessica Ray said she hopes the transformed lot will attract people throughout the Pendleton Heights area.
“I am hoping it is not only a healthy food option and beautification of Lexington Avenue, but that it also attracts people to the neighborhood,” Ray said. “This will be the first full-scale orchard for Pendleton Heights.”
The heritage fruit trees to be planted include persimmon, pawpaw, service berry, crabapple, golden russet apple, red haven peach, Bartlett pear and Italian fig.
Planting the garden and orchard fulfills one of PHNA’s goals of abating vacant lots, Ray said. In addition, the community orchard will be used to provide healthy food options at future farmer’s markets.
As for the cost of maintenance, Pendleton Heights will only be responsible for one expenditure.
“This will only cost us mulch,” Ray said. “We have volunteers who will help plant, we have help from Powell Gardens for trees, plus the trees the community has already planted to be moved. So, trees and labor work is free.”
Pendleton Heights resident and University of Missouri Extension Service Master Gardener Larry Becker is working with Matt Bunch, lead horticulturist at Powell Gardens edible garden display, to help with planting the historic garden. Volunteers can help with watering plants, weed eating and caring for the baby trees grown in the orchard and historic garden.
“This lot will go from being an eyesore to being hopefully a really good asset to us, not just for Pendleton Heights, but other people who just want to learn about history and agriculture,” Ray said.
Ray’s ultimate goal for the area near the orchard and historic garden is to fix up the sidewalk across the street, put a crosswalk on Lexington, signs for the orchard and historic garden and pillars for an entrance way across the bridge on Lexington in order to further beautify the area.