Volunteers keep Karns garden in bloom

Sandra ClarkGet Up & Go, Karns

Update: “Three of us worked in the garden today (6/26) and it is looking better every time. Jackie Williams purchased stones for the walkway and placed them this morning.  Looks very good.” 


Our friend Janice Spoone submitted some information about the Karns Library Garden, a volunteer project of the Knox County Democratic Party’s District 6.

The group designed and has maintained the garden for the past 11 years after Frank Schingle proposed the idea to celebrate Earth Day. “The garden was just a weed patch” when they started, Spoone said.

“The group met each month at the library and we decided to design and maintain the garden to improve the look of the grounds.

“This April, Clay Mulford wanted to expand our work to include the landscaping in front of the library. A Karns garden club planted rose bushes many years ago but the group no longer exists. This work has just begun so is not complete.”

COVID-19 forced an adjustment in plans. This year the club members have worked in teams of two in order to maintain distance and stay safe. Work that was previously completed in one week has extended into the summer because of the smaller teams.

“All of the plantings have been donated by members and most came from their gardens over the many years. The flowers and plantings include large numbers of daffodils, narcissus, many colors of iris, wild daises and large shasta daisies, lilies, lambs ear, liriope for borders and Lenten roses,” Spoone says. “Also look for sorrel, cone flowers, pin cushion, Dutch iris planted by the Girl Scouts, nandina, red bud trees and a young red buckeye tree. It is a work in progress but this year has been about transplanting and thinning as the area was so full of plants.

The sign on the tree says that the garden is designed and maintained by the Karns Democratic Party. Workers this year are Frank Schingle, Clay Mulford, Janice Spoone, Lou Mansur, Jackie Williams, Kitty Loewen and Elizabeth Vacanti.

“We invite anyone walking in the area or driving by to stop and enjoy. Also feel free to help us maintain the space as it is a really big job and the garden belongs to the community. Pull a weed, pick up a fallen branch, water a thirsty plant, dead head blooming plants. The garden will be grateful and look better because of each one of us and our continued effort,” Spoone says.

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