OVER THE FENCE: The WPA Rock Garden in Land Park is in jeopardy

By Greg Brown

Daisy Mah, who has transformed the garden into a Sacramento Shangri-la, is retiring in October. All of the beauty and uniqueness of the WPA Rock Garden is in jeopardy if the City Of Sacramento doesn’t replace Daisy with somebody who has similar expertise. It will be tough to fill her shoes. Too bad cloning is out of the question.

There needs to be someone who can step in and not miss a beat. Another horticulture genius with the same amount of passion and intricate knowledge of what makes the garden so special. Daisy is an encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to plants, trees and flowers, not to mention the butterflies and bees. They’re all connected.

When I visited the lush rock garden, Daisy was giving a tour to 17 local residents interested in learning more about the unique garden that she has been tirelessly tending since 1986. “Sometimes I feel like Mrs. Winchester…planting and planting and planting …”

Daisy knows her stuff. The day I visited, the hummingbirds were humming, the carpenter bees were buzzing, and the pipevine swallowtails were wafting overhead enjoying the garden. In fact, I think I heard one of them whisper, “Don’t go, Daisy.”

Candace Espinosa, one of the park workers said, “I don’t think 10 people could do what she does.” There are approximately 22 volunteers who help Daisy in the garden. Bill Leddy, one of the volunteers, “loves the chaos of the garden” and thinks the “right sort of noises are coming out of the City.”

Lets hope so.

Daisy told me she’s fatigued and ready to retire and pursue other interests even though she added, “the garden is my child.” At the end of the tour, everybody applauded.

There is an online petition that was started by Jeff Weir to support the WPA Rock Garden. They want Parks and Rec to know the depth and admiration people have for the garden and their heartfelt desire that the garden be maintained as Daisy designed it. They want somebody with the horticulture knowledge to continue maintaining the Land Park Gem. Here is a link to the petition. http://www.change.org/petitions/support-the-wpa-rock-garden <http://www.change.org/petitions/support-the-wpa-rock-garden>

One of the petition signers, Mary Chilcote, wrote:

“Please don’t be short sighted about this gem in the midst of our city. It would be a tragedy to see all of the work Daisy has done over the years just go to seed. PLEASE, PLEASE hire someone with the knowledge base to keep this little oasis going.”

Holly Holt of Fair Oaks added, “When people create beauty in the world, it is worth saving.” Sign the petition and help continue the beauty that is the WPA Rock Garden.

* * * * * *

Kids will no longer be heard singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” or the “ABC Song” at Brick Oven Pizza in South Land Park. The long-standing pizza joint in the South Land Park Hills Shopping Center has decided to end their monthly Family Karaoke Nights. They have had Family Karaoke for over five years every first Friday of the month and just decided “it was time to end it“.

It was a pleasure to see families sing songs, eat pizza and do something the whole family could enjoy. Wendy Reynolds said this would “leave a big void in the family karaoke market.” They even had a big box of children’s toys the kids would play with while waiting their turn at the karaoke mic.

Gary, the owner, said, “it was time to move on.” He also mentioned the high cost of the entertainment license and how they would have “more dart nights at the BOP.” So I guess look for Family Dart Throwing Night at Brick Oven Pizza.

Bethy Evans, the karaoke host, mentioned she’d love to do Family Karaoke on Saturday nights. Perhaps another local area pizzeria will take it over and make it a success. It would be as simple as ABC.

* * * * *

I hate to pit business owner against business owner but I received a juicy gossip item about a couple of business owners that had an “unpleasant exchange” as one of the owners described it. The other business owner mentioned, “it was ugly.”

You’ve heard of the Rumble in the Jungle right? This was more like the Rumble On Riverside. “In this corner…weighing in at…” OK, you get the picture.

It all started when one business owner visited the store of another business owner, just to have a look see and maybe get some new ideas. It went downhill from there with one owner threatening to call the cops if the visiting owner didn’t “get the H out of her store.”

When the visiting owner mentioned there were a few more items she’d like to look at, that’s when the shop owner went ballistic. A call to the cops was threatened. I spoke to both ladies on the phone and neither of them wanted to go on record about the “Rumble On Riverside.”

One of the business owners mentioned a summit where they could share appetizers at the Riverside Clubhouse and come to an understanding about the incident. If Gorbachev and Reagan could do it, maybe there is hope.

* * * * *

Two things that go great together are bowling and beer. Am I right or am I right? Nobody has a glass of tea when they bowl. Land Park Lanes is still serving up the bowling and the beer. It’s Americana. It also helps you forget the fact you’re wearing funny looking rental shoes that were just doused with anti-fungal spray.

The pitchers of beer at Land Park Lanes have one little problem. They have a metal compartment that stores ice cubes inside the actual pitcher. I love ice-cold beer, but not if it’s going to take up valuable beer space. They should ditch the cheater pitchers of beer and go with regular pitchers. That’s a full glass of beer we’re losing out on!

* * * * *

I recently solicited community suggestions for the vacant capital Nursery site in Freeport Boulevard. One reader wrote he’d like to see a venue for beer and wine festivals.

This prompted Land Park resident Pinki Cockrell to send me an e-mail stating she was “alarmed by the notion.” She further stated: “A festival venue would more often compete with, and detract from efforts of established charities and community events. It is already difficult to coordinate dates for so many galas to ensure that none compromises the success of another–I know, I’m a volunteer!”

Pinki’s suggestions for the former Capital Nursery site? A skating rink, pee-wee golf, and an indoor fitness center to name a few. Then she said “wait, I know…how about a fabulous nursery!!?”

If you have any gossip, or items of interest, feel free to send them my way. Greg@valcomnews.com

Janey Way Memories #100 East Sacramentan at Cal and United States U-20 Eagles for rugby

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