Meadowsweet Owners Just Can’t Help Themselves

This article was originally published by the Herald Sun. See it here

If you are a regular visitor to Durham Central Park, you may have noticed that the plant beds along the west side of Foster Street and the Grace Garden (in the northwest corner of the park on Roney street) have become much more beautiful in the past few years.

That’s because Jonathan Nyberg and Rebecca Wellborn of Meadowsweet Gardens & Patios ( have informally adopted Durham Central Park as their latest community project.  And we are SO happy they have!

DCP is not the first project Rebecca and Jonathan have taken on in Durham.  Their first foray was planting and maintaining containers at the old Joe and Jo’s, now Bull McCabe’s, where they worked in exchange for food.  Then they installed and planted containers for Self-Help Credit Union on Main Street.

About 10 years ago they moved their efforts around the corner to the Durham Arts Council where they noticed the sorry state of the gardens outside.  Working on a plan with Edith Eddleman (a landscape designer), they installed a beautiful array of flowers and have maintained the plantings there ever since.

Their first project at DCP was a number of years ago when Rebecca installed and maintained a medicinal plant garden in the SEEDS garden at the south end of the park along Hunt Street.  In the past few years, SEEDS has taken over the maintenance of that garden at the park.

A few years ago while visiting DCP to go to the farmer’s market or come to an event, they began to notice the planters along the west side of Foster Street were looking a bit unkempt.  And another day they noticed that the woody plants in the Grace Garden needed some pruning and the liriope had taken over many of the plant beds.  That’s when they decided to move their efforts to DCP.

They now come regularly to tend the gardens, bringing extra plants from their personal garden, installing new beds, rearranging the plants — and doing most of the work pro bono.  When asked why they have a habit of adopting public gardens, Jonathan had this to say:

“From the beginning of Meadowsweet, Rebecca and I have always had the urge to improve public places with plantings.  Since we’ve never done any ‘real’ marketing, we look at these projects as our marketing and advertising.  Besides we just love Durham, especially the downtown area, and want to make a contribution to its beautification.”

If you happen to see some busy gardeners working on the beds on Foster or the Grace Garden, it’s probably the Meadowsweet gardeners, doing their magic in Durham Central Park.  Thank you, Jonathan and Rebecca!

Come see us at the park soon!