A Homegrown Garden Just for the Post Office
Relative newcomers may not be aware that the local Post Office was the only place Davidson residents received mail before the 21st century, or thereabouts. No friendly mail-folk walked the neighborhoods, no mailboxes marked our driveways or hung by our front doors. Today, we have the option of residential delivery, but many still enjoy using the Post Office.
Regardless, the Post Office is where we mail letters, ship parcels, and buy stamps and shipping supplies. And it’s still a prime spot to catch up with friends and neighbors and hear about their families, jobs, health, and travel plans. (Remember travel?)
Fortunately, visitors to the Post Office include members of the Davidson Garden Club, folks with a sharp eye for a sorry flower bed. Club president Candy Ellis told me, “We’ve said for some time, ‘When you see something like that, you know they need help.’”
The Post Office garden needed help.
With a perceptive Giving Committee, a budget, and skills, the Garden Club came to the rescue. They checked with the Postmaster, who was delighted, and went to work.
“We asked Inta Krombolz to head up the project—she was perfect for it,” said Candy.
A self-taught horticulturist with a lifelong love of gardening—“I’ve taken some classes along the way”—Inta happily took on the project, studying the space and choosing dwarf varieties of plants that tolerate both sun and shade. “Dwarf plants remain low and are slow-growing, so they require less maintenance,” she said.
Inta likes to design using a system called color echo, where color, form, or texture—or all three—are repeated through a landscape, creating rhythm and unity. For the Post Office garden, she chose to use plants that are variegated and chartreuse, a color that lands halfway between green and yellow.
“I also chose to plant tight, so I could use as many plants as I like and not worry about the soil showing much. The plants will just duke it out for space, and we’ll see how that goes,” she said.
Before Candy and Inta did the planting, about a dozen Club members prepared the space and Davidson resident Kyle Molesky of Williamson Irrigation installed a sprinkler system, “basically at cost,” said Candy.
“It was so rewarding for us to be working there and have people stop to say thank you,” Candy said. “Almost everyone did.”
Club members will monitor the sprinkler system, and Inta will maintain the garden, labeling plants for interested spectators. “Part of our charter is to educate the community about gardening,” Candy said, “and honestly, learning from Inta is learning from the best.”
Founded in 1957, the Davidson Garden Club has long played an important role in the community, supporting sibling organizations like TreesDavidson, Davidson Lands Conservancy, and even the Stowe Botanical Gardens in Belmont. The group is perhaps best known for the Davidson Horticultural Symposium, which has been held every year during the first week in March since 1987—until Covid struck.
“We won’t be holding the Symposium next spring,” said Candy. “but we’ll be back in March 2022.”
Horticulturists, mark your calendars! And in the meantime, when you visit to the Davidson Post Office, watch the garden grow.
Learn more about the Davidson Garden Club here.
A professional communicator with a long career in higher education, Meg now consults and volunteers in areas where words and images work together to tell a story. She's a proud member of Davidson's Class of 1977 and lives nearby with her husband, Don, Davidson professor emeritus of biology, with whom she shares a family grown by kinship and choice.
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Post Office Garden Plants
X grandiflora ‘Radiance’
Mahonia eurybracteasta ‘Soft Caress’
Pittosporum tobira ‘Mojo’
Carax oshimensis ‘Everillo’
Carax oshimensis ‘Evergold’
Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’
Sarcococcca hookeriana var. ‘Sarsid1’
Sedum ‘Lemon Ball’