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Urban Gardens

Nature reclaims the vegetable garden

Nicki's Central West End Guide Urban Gardens  Missouri Chapter of the Nature Conservancy Magnificent Missouri John McPheeters Holliday Bowood Farms  There has been so much confusion and noise hitting us from every corner of our lives this year that, like everyone, I have sought to find peaceful moments whenever and wherever I can.

A special example is Bowood Farms’ overgrown vegetable garden, which in this year of the pandemic has been allowed to return to a natural state. The sight of tall sunflowers and groups of birds swooping over the brush into the dense trees, while insects hum (loudly!) in the background, is truly calming.Nicki's Central West End Guide Urban Gardens  Missouri Chapter of the Nature Conservancy Magnificent Missouri John McPheeters Holliday Bowood Farms

In years past the garden has been filled with neat rows of vegetables waiting to be harvested for Bowood’s Cafe Osage, but not this year when the cafe was closed during planting season, and no one knew if and when restaurants would reopen. 

For now, I welcome the change and the peace the garden affords. It seems even more appropriate with the passing of Bowood Farms’ founder John McPheeters in early June. John was a true visionary in creating the beautiful, imaginative garden shop and cafe on the northern edge of the CWE, guiding its evolution into a treasured destination over the ensuing years.

John was also a staunch supporter of both the Missouri Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and Magnificent Missouri, In a serendipitous way, it seems fitting that the garden was left untended and allowed to return to nature this summer.

Bowood Farms, Cafe Osage & Holliday are open (check websites for hours), 4600-4605 Olive St. (314) 454-6868. 

A visit to Park-Like in Grand Center

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Studio Land Arts Pulitzer Arts Foundation Park-Like CAM

Exploring the Pulitzer-Arts Foundation’s new Park-Like installation for the first time last Saturday afternoon was a delight and yet a bit eerie. I was totally alone as I meandered throughout the park (located on Washington just east of Spring) and the only sound was a concentration of birdsong and humming insects—sounds you’d expect to encounter in rural areas, not bordering a normally bustling street.

Washington Avenue, the home of the Pulitzer, Contemporary Art Museum (CAM), The Sheldon, and the Fox Theater parking lots, would normally be filled to capacity on a Saturday afternoon. Some of the museums on Washington have re-opened but, judging from the absence of street traffic, the public may be unaware. More information about that at the end of the post. If you’re looking for excuses to get out of the house you will be rewarded with a visit to Park-Like soon and often.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Studio Land Arts Pulitzer Arts Foundation Park-Like CAM

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Studio Land Arts Pulitzer Arts Foundation Park-Like CAM

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Studio Land Arts Pulitzer Arts Foundation Park-Like CAM

The park is dotted with found building materials and artifacts, above and below, that are now part of water filtration systems “to absorb stormwater runoff and reduce the impact on urban drainage and sewer systems.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Studio Land Arts Pulitzer Arts Foundation Park-Like CAM

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Studio Land Arts Pulitzer Arts Foundation Park-Like CAM

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Studio Land Arts Pulitzer Arts Foundation Park-Like CAM

Native and non-native plantings blanket Park-Like.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Studio Land Arts Pulitzer Arts Foundation Park-Like CAM

Found building materials are also incorporated into seating and play spaces.  Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Studio Land Arts Pulitzer Arts Foundation Park-Like CAM

There is a series of small man-made hills, one of which frames a view of the back side of the Scottish Rite Cathedral on Saint Louis University’s campus on Lindell.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Studio Land Arts Pulitzer Arts Foundation Park-Like CAM

There will likely be more life on the street when the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, above, 3716 Washington, joins the other institutions and opens to the public August 13 through August 30. Book a 45-minute tour here for groups of up to 10 people. Entry to the museum is free. In the meantime, CAM is open. Visit the website to sign up for free timed-entry tickets. The Sheldon is offering timed-entry tickets to “Golf the Galleries,” a playable mini golf course for the whole family, $5 to $10.

Park-Like, 3700 Washington east of North Spring is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

POSTPONED: Rudy’s Flower Truck NOT coming to the CWE Sunday

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News Urban Gardens  The Cup Rudy's Flower Truck Maryland Plaza Koplar Properties
JUST RECEIVED WORD THAT RUDY’S FLOWER TRUCK NOT COMING TO CWE SUNDAY. EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED.
The Maryland Plaza/Koplar Properties team is bringing Rudy’s Flower Truck to the CWE Sunday morning, June 28. This will be the floral truck’s first foray into the city since the stay-at-home order was issued at the end of March. The mobile bouquet bar will be filled with a wide selection of fresh flowers at reasonable prices.
Proprietor Brittany Sarhage learned about the floral truck concept via an internet ad and realized this was the business she had been looking for. She purchased a 1958 Jeep Truck on eBay. She named it Rudy, filled it with buckets of flowers and went on the road in March 2018.  A June 2018 article in the Ladue News reported that, despite the fact that Sarhage had no previous floral experience, with her creativity and eye for color she has become successful and is sought after for pop-up events in The Grove, at Anthropologie, and now on Maryland Plaza.
Rudy’s Flower Truck will set up shop on York at Maryland Plaza next to The Cup from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday.  After you choose your flowers, stop in for coffee and cupcakes while you wait for your bouquet to be assembled. Sounds like a lovely way to ease back into something resembling normal.
Rudy’s Flower Truck on York at Maryland Plaza, 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, June 28.
P.S. – Please wear masks when you visit.