Excavation of the Serenity Garden began in July 2016, and within three months the garden design, purchase and planting of young trees and shrubs was completed. The plantings all made it through the winter and are now showing their identities in full bloom. There is a garden bench for sitting next to the sound of running water from the Shelton Branch stream. The Mountain View Garden Club is now maintaining the garden to keep it looking perfect, and the garden was built through the club’s collaboration with Waynesville employees Jonathan Yates and Bill Litty.
The garden is part of a larger vision — presented to the Waynesville Board of Aldermen in spring 2016 — to transform the Recreation Park into a full-fledged arboretum, and the Waynesville Garden Club will tackle the next project toward that goal. The club plans to install a pollinator garden near the Recreation Center that will attract and support butterfly and insect life while also educating passers-by about these essential members of the cycle of plant development. Horticulture students from Haywood Community College are growing plants for the garden.
So far the garden clubs are funding these projects through their small budgets, with the town providing in-kind labor and equipment. However, additional funding is needed to purchase signs and develop media information for the public.