Sarahs’ Garden

Not long ago, there was a small, overgrown and forgotten courtyard begging to be more than just an empty, barren space.  This tiny courtyard knew it really could be a special place.  It could be serene and calm.  All the forlorn courtyard really needed was compassionate and generous people who could look beyond debris, dirt and neglect to see great potential and then grow the potential into a living green reality.  

Sarahs’ Garden true transformation story began in 2019.  It started when the vision of a great designer, Edward L. Daugherty, renowned Atlanta Landscape Architect, was added to the passionate leadership of Respite Care Atlanta’s Volunteer Garden Chair, Carter Morris.  

The story moves forward on countless work hours cheerfully provided by RCA volunteers.  People who planted, watered and worked together to contribute their best efforts to Respite Care Atlanta’s participants and caregivers.    

 

The name Sarahs’ Garden honors two best friends, Sarah Kennedy and Sarah Clarke, who formed one of Atlanta’s first Alzheimer‘s support groups together.   Both women cared for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease.  This was at a time when very few facts about the disease were known and even less was discussed and understood.   They soon realized the sad, lonely journey this disease represented for the entire caregiving family, not just the actual victim.  Sarah Clark wanted to do something.  And she did.  Together with Sarah Kennedy, she began The Atlanta Alzheimer’s Auxiliary in 1998 to build greater awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research.   

In 2021, Sarahs’ Garden offers relaxing outdoor spaces for RCA’s clients, caregivers, family and friends to enjoy gardening projects together in an enclosed, completely safe environment.  Some visitors simply come to look and stay for a short while.  Others enjoy sitting under the custom-crafted arbors and stay longer watching nature’s show unfold daily.  New plants sprout, grow and give beauty unique to that day alone. 

 “Plants are not static.  They sing and dance all year round.  They’re always doing something.”

Edward Daugherty

A Cinderella transformation produces living gifts for
Respite Care Atlanta and a community

The beauty of Sarahs’ Garden is easily enjoyed by neighbors as they walk along East Wesley Road toward Peachtree Street.  The serene garden’s space is bordered by East Wesley on the outer edge and Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church’s Sanctuary on its inner edge.  In that strategic location, the green oasis becomes an abundant gift to church members and the neighborhood as well as to Respite Care Atlanta’s participants, volunteers and families.       

Sarahs’ Garden’s “outside-inside” growing areas were first imagined and then designed by Edward L. Daugherty.  He generously donated both time and talent to this project.   Even though he completed  other major projects on the church campus over the last 30 years, Daugherty embraced this garden’s unique spirit and purpose in a very special way.  

“He thought of everything from our members’ point of view.  He created hardscapes to serve people using mobility devices.  He personally selected the signature plants and created a wooden arbor to evoke memories.   Thanks to Edward’s masterful design,  Sarahs’ Garden provides a way for RCA participants to experience the natural world as part of regular program activities.”

      Carter Morris, Volunteer Visionary and Garden Chair

During the quarantine months due to the Covid virus, Sarahs’ Garden thrived and grew.  New plants were constantly added by enthusiastic volunteer gardeners.  Gifts of a Grow Light System allow seed germination and plant cultivation all year long.  An artist designed and gifted set of garden miniatures create imaginary landscapes or village scenes stimulating creativity and storytelling.  

“A large number of the plants in Sarahs’ Garden have been donated by Respite Care Atlanta Volunteers, member families, and supporters from the gardening community, most of which came from their own gardens.  Nick-named “pass-along plants,” each brings its own story to Sarahs’ Garden.

      Carter Morris, Volunteer Visionary and Garden Chair  

To learn more about Respite Care Atlanta’s program and services, please contact us.

We are located at:
Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church
2715 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

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