The Martha Arnett Memorial Garden
Submitted by Dianne Ladd, Gardener in Charge of Maintenance
I believe that Martha Arnett created the Martha Arnett Memorial Garden and that I channeled her ideas and brought to life her vision. The inspiration for the garden came to me one day in September 2005 as I was weeding during a grounds cleanup day in the front of the building where there was a mass of ugly bushes that more than one person had commented that they hoped we would remove them soon. Suddenly it was as though I heard Martha in my head saying “This would be a lovely place for a garden, Dianne”. Martha had been a gardener until she moved into an apartment in her later years and I had learned quite a few things from our conversations together.
Martha had been a dear friend and longtime member of the Fellowship who died in March 2003. She and Theresa, also a longtime Fellowship member, and I belonged to a women’s support group for many years and she had also been my first employee at a retail store I owned in Boulder, so we were very close. I wanted to do something to honor her and also improve the grounds at our new Fellowship site so, as a result of this spiritual experience, I asked the other members of the women’s support group, Theresa, Lynn, and Julia, if they would help with funding the construction and planting of the garden and help me maintain it over time. They agreed, so I quickly drafted and submitted a proposal to Reverend Catharine Harris and the Grounds Committee. Rev. Catharine and the board accepted it, and we created the garden in the spring of 2006.
We dedicated the garden in a ceremony in August 2006 (see attached dedication invitation and photos) and many of Martha’s family members and Fellowship friends attended. We wrote a memoir of Martha, a copy of which can be borrowed from the Fellowship office, and I have included entries here from some BVUUF folks, as well as my memories of Martha (see attached memoir pages).
Our women’s support group maintains Martha’s Garden all year long and it continues to grow and change seasonally and every year as we add more new and different plants. I think Martha would be very happy that she is remembered in this way and I hope that in time we will have more memorial gardens to honor beloved members and friends who have passed on.