Winter 2024 Gardens have the power to bring us together. Discover seven public-facing, community-engaging gardens harnessing that power. Three of them are Design Futurist honors award winners: a Kinship Garden on San Juan Island, Washington, a San Francisco alley-turned-butterfly oasis, and a pollinator bike path energizing Davis, California. They show the peak of what’s possible – what can you do with an abandoned patch of earth?It was a late summer afternoon, quiet at the community center when Jenny Harris looked up from her gardening tasks to see visitors.“Go ahead and touch,” she called out. "The buds are sticky and the bees won’t sting.”A young woman and a toddler crouched down, looking at Puget Sound gumweed (Grindelia integrifolia) in full bloom. Leaf-cutter bees gathering pollen caught their curiosity, stopping them on their way. “Can we?” asked the woman as she extended her hand to feel the resinous plant. The child imitated her gesture, eyes wide with the wonder of it. Whispering their thanks, the visitors let Jenny know her work had touched them and transformed their day.Are you familiar with the idea that a creative notion, whose time has come, is a thing of magic waiti...
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