Last Spring, Spring of 2014, my parents and I attempted to refresh the Heidi Allen Remembrance Garden located at the intersection of State Routes 104 and 104B in New Haven, New York. Regardless of the weeds pulled, it was still in need of a deeper level of refreshing. It needed to be renewed.
Due to health reasons, Dad wasn't able to build the new star himself so he tried to find someone that could do the building and once they were finished, we would replant and do the gardening. Some made comments to me like "The garden looks so sad." or "Too bad someone doesn't care for the garden." These comments hurt because to have Heidi's Remembrance Garden looking so sad and unkempt breaks our hearts more than anyone else might feel.
As we waited for the new frame to be built, Spring transitioned to Summer, then Fall, and finally it was covered with snow once again. The blanket of white hid the dark and depressing star, twenty years later looking forgotten when in truth...it was just waiting. The garden waited like we do every day.
Dad was feeling better so he started his blueprints while Christmas lights still glimmered from the white of the snow outside the window. He determined a way we could rebuild the star with a little help. The next order of business was to decide what flowers to keep and what to add.
After much discussion, we decided to wait until Spring and the start was rebuilt with the exception of a couple flowers and plants. Each was chosen for a reason and with much thought.
Mom chose Shasta Daisies for each of the star points, the flower used to represent missing persons across the country. She also found an orange daisy to go in the points so that as the two daisies met, each point would present a white and orange presence, orange the color chosen for the ribbons of hope for Heidi in 1994.
In the center, Mom and Dad chose a Cora Bell that is a burgundy in color now but will deepen to a purple even after the snow starts, Heidi liked purple.
Around the cora bell are hosta plants, replanted from my parents house so there is a little bit of home in the spot our community chooses to remember Heidi with this beautiful garden. To fill in some of the empty space, purposely left to allow the other plants to grow this year and the years to come, we planted orange pansies. The pansies are the only flower and plant that won't return on its own each year.
Before we could plant though, my husband, brother-in-law, Scott, and our friend Bob, dug out the entire star about twelve inches below ground level. This might seem like too much but there was a viney ground cover that took over the garden and choked out the roses and other flowers. The guys kept digging until they weren't getting roots to this vine.
Only a few bulbs remained so the garden received a new frame, new top soil, mulch, and all new flowers and plants. We are grateful for our communities help to remember Heidi too. Leon's Farm Market and the New Haven Building Supply were generous in their contributions to make the new star and garden as beautiful as it is. Thank you again. Click on the links within the blog to read more about this aspect of the design and refreshment process.
“It was such a pleasure to sink one's hands into the warm earth, to feel at one's fingertips the possibilities of the new season.”
Last month I shared a couple blogs talking about the face lift at the Heidi Allen Remembrance Garden, Part One and Part Two are link here and above. I shared it again because in the past month, my parents had another idea on how to personalize the garden even more, something that helps our community remember the Heidi they still hold dear to their hearts, and a way for those visiting the garden to understand the young lady our town lost.
Tomorrow's blog will reveal the new addition in case you haven't been by the store yet to see it for yourself. A couple people messaged me to say how much they like it, my parents, Ed, Mags, and I hope this new look helps Heidi, the person, be remembered. Many remember the missing person flyers and poster from newscast but not everyone may recognize the young girl, Heidi Allen. The child abducted from her place of employment and taken from her family, friends, and community never to be see again. May the Heidi Allen Remembrance Garden help us all hold out hope until Heidi is found.
Be sure to visit the blog tomorrow
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323