by Peter Hickman, Certified Master Gardener & 2017 President of MGNV
The idea for the Master Gardener Tribute Bench and Garden originated as a way to honor Mary Newton. Mary served as MGNV President fifteen years ago. It was a time of transition for MGNV as we went from a period of working without an extension agent and being “in charge,” to supporting the work of the agent. Mary led the organization through the transition with grace. She was patient, kind, and a good listener —a true gentle gardener. She passed from this life in September 2015.
As Master Gardener friends thought more about a tribute to Mary, they realized that she probably would not have wanted it to be all about her but would have wanted to honor the work all Master Gardeners past and present. An ad-hoc committee formed to pursue this idea. With the support of the MGNV Board, this ad-hoc committee developed a proposal and won Arlington County approval for this project last December. Once the handicapped accessible bench was installed, the ad-hoc committee prepared the soil and lovingly installed the Garden and have been keeping an eye on it ever since. In April, the Tribute Bench and Garden officially became the latest demonstration garden. Continue reading