El Oasis Gardeners Get Two More Weeks But Land Sale Seems Inevitable

The gardeners at El Oasis Community Garden enjoyed a small victory earlier this month. Their move-out date was extended to October 18, giving them two more weeks to enjoy their garden’s bounty. It was a small reprieve from the bad news they’d learned from Denver Urban Gardens, which owns the land, less than a month earlier: two-thirds of El Oasis was under contract to be sold.

The sale, brought about to cover the nonprofit’s outstanding debt, is meant to sustain the organization’s ability to provide for more than 180 other gardens it maintains around the city. Without the sale’s revenue, DUG could cease to exist. But once the land — sold in good faith to the nonprofit for $1 in 1988 — is developed, it cannot be replaced.

“I find myself in a pickle,” says Denver City Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval, who’s been contacted by many of her constituents about the sale. “I understand. I’m empathetic to their concerns. … I wish we weren’t in this particular situation for all involved. I think it’s pitting neighbors against a nonprofit that does a lot of really good community work.”

While the El Oasis community celebrated the additional two weeks to garden, they still question the chain of events that led to the sale.EXPAND

While the El Oasis community celebrated the additional two weeks to garden, they still question the chain of events that led to the sale.

Claire Duncombe

She’s not the only one to feel that there’s no good option. Rachel Bygrave, the garden leader of DUG’s Whittier Garden, expressed frustration that the DUG board hadn’t been transparent about its financial situation. “The gardeners all across the city weren’t able to rally,” she says. “I hope they looked at every possibility… It’s disappointing that people didn’t have an advance [notice], because we can’t lose DUG either. That’s not a good solution.”

El Oasis gardeners hoped that media attention and public pressure could cause Caliber Construction, the anticipated buyers, to back out of the deal. But Caliber has maintained a low profile, ignoring all gardeners’ requests for conversation and declining to comment for this story or the original coverage on September 24. The deal is set to close on December 1.

In 2006, Bygrave experienced the sale of another DUG property, located in Capitol Hill. The nonprofit didn’t own the land, and when the owner died, his children sold the property. DUG’s executive director at the time, Michael Buchenau, did everything he could to save the garden, Bygrave says. “He really cared passionately about saving that garden, and he helped us every step of the way trying to save that land.”

Many brought food made with garden ingredients, including a cake made with edible flowers.EXPAND

Many brought food made with garden ingredients, including a cake made with edible flowers.

Claire Duncombe

After the sale of El Oasis became public, Dr. Violeta Garcia stepped down as executive director of Denver Urban Gardens the week of September 28. Garcia did not respond to a request for her comment on the matter.

On October 1, Lara Fahnestock, Director of Garden Support, sent El Oasis gardeners an apology for not bringing them into the conversation earlier. “We understand that you’re still hurting

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Home decor ideas to transform your space into a cozy oasis

For many across the country, the leaves are beginning to change and with that, everyone is doing all they can to prepare their homes for the cold days ahead. (Photo: Getty Images)
For many across the country, the leaves are beginning to change and with that, everyone is doing all they can to prepare their homes for the cold days ahead. (Photo: Getty Images)

As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, there is nothing more satisfying than snuggling up on the couch with a nice cup of tea to watch a favorite autumnal movie. Bonus points if you’ve got a snuggly cat on your lap. For many across the country, the leaves are beginning to change and with that, everyone is doing all they can to prepare their homes for the cold days ahead.

While some may only opt for a small pumpkin on their coffee table to set the mood, there are plenty of other home decor ideas to make your living space as cozy (and seasonal) as possible. With the expertise of interior designers Amber Guyton of Blessed Little Bungalow and Jessica McCarthy of JAM x Creative, here are 10 products that are both affordable and chic to easily transform your space for optimal coziness.

When it comes to creating a cozy space, there is nothing that screams cozy like a delicious candle. “Changing your home’s scent during the seasons is a super easy way to make your home feel cozy and unique to your personal scent preferences,” McCarthy says. If you really want to push the fall theme even further, try this pumpkin-shaped candle that smells like a warm bonfire. The Autumn Bonfire scent is packed with fallen pine cones, red oak, fresh eucalyptus and juniper berry. Truly intoxicating to smell — and adorable to look at.

One of the simplest ways to transform a space is to add texture and comfortable places to sit. Guyton recommends to “layer on different textures that add an element of comfort such as rugs, accent pillows and throws” to curate a cozy environment. This soft floor pillow is a prime example. Made of 100 percent polyester, this blush pillow gives you comfort and warmth without taking up too much space. Floor seating just got a whole lot chicer.

If you are looking for a effortless way to create ambiance in a room, try string lights. Although people usually decorate with them around the holidays, don’t let that deter you from putting these up year round. They are popular for a reason! To classy up this cozy add-on, go for a design that is less traditional, like this playful curtain alignment. Made of LED lights, wiring and plastic, hang these as a statement wall piece for an instant eye-catcher. Nothing sets the mood quite like twinkling stars. 

Adding greenery to your space is an easy way to make it feel more homey and to bring nature indoors. But unless you have a serious green thumb, a faux plant is the way to go. It is the perfect way to make an environment feel cozier without breaking the bank or making a mess. This faux fiddle leaf, with gorgeous life-like

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Garden oasis flourishes in Old Market | Articles

“It’s a community space, bringing together nonprofits that normally wouldn’t have a reason to,” said Andrew Bauer, director of finance and operation at the Nature Conservancy office nearby.

On Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., the Nature Conservancy is hosting a discussion about the collaboration at the garden. The panel will feature staff from the Nature Conservancy, No More Empty Pots, Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim and the Bemis Center. Information can be found on the garden’s Facebook page.

The garden itself is a mix, too, of native perennials and several varieties of produce.

“It’s designed to look like rolling sand hills and paths, so we could do classes and gatherings,” said horticulturist Nancy Scott. “One whole section is native plants, with a lot of native Nebraska wildflower grasses. It’s just lovely now.”

At the heart of the vegetable garden is corn grown from seeds donated by Sacred Seed’s Keen, a member of the Omaha Tribe.

The corn is planted in a traditional manner, with sunflowers to protect the plants from the wind and beans providing potassium. Squash plants below shade the ground, keeping it moist and preventing weeds.

“Taylor is the keeper of some of the seeds; some of the strains are sacred to the Omaha Tribe,” Scott said.

Many more heirloom seeds have been used to plant all types of vegetables and even watermelon. There are all kinds of herbs and edible plants and three kinds of naturally colored cottons.

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Garden oasis in downtown Omaha grows food and community | Home & Garden

A once-empty plot of land at 13th and Leavenworth Streets is growing food, flowers and community.

Amy Walstrom, who works downtown, has watched the transformation of the Sacred Seed Pop-up Garden on her daily walks. After the Warren Distribution building there was torn down in 2017, the lot has changed from a weedy patch to a haven for pollinators and birds — and people.

“It’s lovely,’’ Walstrom said. “The colors, the variety of plants. The fact that they have labeled what all the different plants are, so if I wanted to duplicate them in my own yard it won’t be so difficult.’’

Janis Regier of Natural Therapy first had the idea for a garden after the Warren building was demolished and approached Polina Schlott, whose husband, Bob, owns the property. The Schlotts liked the idea, with the caveat that the land could someday be sold or developed. Hence the reason it’s called a pop-up garden.

The first year was rough, but then the community started to build. The Nature Conservancy became involved, as did people at Kaneko, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and No More Empty Pots. Kinghorn Gardens helped with the layout as well as Taylor Keen, founder of Sacred Seed. Many others have come on board, including Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim.

The vegetables grown there are feeding multiple pantries, with 1,539 pounds donated so far, and it’s become a learning center for children, teaching them about sustainable gardening and monarch butterflies. Clients at Mosaic get a chance to enjoy nature by helping with the upkeep.

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Dalston Curve Garden is an urban oasis on Hackney’s disused railway



a group of people in a garden: Stills from Open House London's Dalston Curve Garden short film


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Stills from Open House London’s Dalston Curve Garden short film

The next documentary in Dezeen’s collaboration with Open House London explores Dalston Curve Garden, a community green space hidden within one of London’s most built-up boroughs.

Dalston Curve Garden was built in 2010 as a free-to-enter neighbourhood oasis on the old Eastern Curve railway line in Hackney, which had been disused since the 1950s.

It was designed by Muf and J&L Gibbons in collaboration with Hackney Council, local residents and community groups in response to a lack of green space in the Dalston area.



a person standing in front of a house: Timber shelter at Dalston Curve Garden


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Timber shelter at Dalston Curve Garden

In this video, Dalston Curve Gardens’ director Marie Murray compares the experience of entering the gardens to setting foot in a “different world” – offering respite from its busy, concrete surroundings.

The planting design is developed by an in-house team, including volunteers, and offers a mix of trees, shrubs and perennials, herbs and salads that ensure greenery all year round while boosting biodiversity.



Morag Myerscough's garden stage


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Morag Myerscough’s garden stage

As Murray tells the story of the gardens, the film features shots of the shelters that nestle amongst its greenery. This includes a timber gable-roofed pavilion built by the architectural collective Exyzt to house the garden’s cafe, pizza oven and seating areas.

There is also the Pineapple House conservatory, which is used as a winter shelter and space for the creative classes, and a stage for the garden’s outdoor performances built by Morag Myerscough as part of a community workshop.



a close up of a garden: Greenery at the Dalston Curve Garden


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Greenery at the Dalston Curve Garden

According to Murray, the value of the gardens is evident in the way people’s “shoulders, which have been at their ears with tension, just completely relax” when visiting.

“That’s really the number one purpose of coming to a space like this,” she explained. “Just to be able to step away from that concrete and chill out, relax, but also quite often, to take part in activities that the green space makes it easier to participate in.”

Open House London takes place at venues across London and online from 19 to 27 September. Videos will be published on Dezeen each day during the festival. See Dezeen Events Guide for details of more architecture and design events.

Project credits:

Guide: Marie Murray

Producers: Nyima Murry and Ella McCarron

Videographer: Jim Stephenson of Stephenson/BishopFilms

The post Dalston Curve Garden is an urban oasis on Hackney’s disused railway appeared first on Dezeen.

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El Oasis Community Garden in the LoHi to be sold

The El Oasis Community Garden in the LoHi neighborhood of Denver will be sold for $1.2 million to developers.

DENVER — People are being forced to say goodbye to a beloved community garden in the LoHi neighborhood.

Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) is selling the “El Oasis Community Garden” to a developer for $1.2 million, according to a website made in an effort to save the garden.

The website explained why DUG was making the sale, saying, “we were told that DUG was in a dire financial situation, running annual deficits of $200k a year, and had taken on increasing amounts of debt with El Oasis as collateral.”

A letter sent to gardeners from DUG says: 

“After careful consideration of our current financial situation, the state of philanthropy, and the uncertainties related to the pandemic, the board has made the difficult decision to sell part of the land on which El Oasis Community Garden sits in northwest Denver. This decision was not made quickly or lightly; however, the sale is critical in order to continue to serve our community of 17,500 gardeners throughout metro Denver and to grow in the future.”       

A couple that lives across the street from the garden, Lara and Jed MacKenzie, said the community found out about the sale over a Zoom call, and were never given the opportunity to help save the garden.

“It’s really surprising that they’re actually selling off a garden when they are in place to protect it as a nonprofit,” Lara MacKenzie said. “I understand times are tough, but we would help them raise money if they just would bring us in and make these decisions with us rather than after the fact.”

Lara MacKenzie said the garden has benefitted the community in numerous ways.

“The garden has been a source of food, education and wellness for families in our community, especially during a pandemic when people are overwhelmed, unemployed and depression is at an all-time high,” she said. “So, we really do not want to lose our garden which is contributing to our community all the time, but now more than ever.”

If current plans proceed, El Oasis gardeners must vacate by Oct. 4, according to the “Save El Oasis” website.

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Locals defend Ocean Terminal garden ‘oasis’ under threat from building work

The Discovery Gardens. Image: Trees of Edinburgh

Locals have spoken out to defend a green ‘oasis’ in Leith from development by Ocean Terminal as part of the Trams to Newhaven project.

The patch of grass and trees was planted when the shopping centre was built in 2001.

It was designed in conjunction with the Royal Botanic Gardens, and features plants representing the discoveries of the “founding fathers” of Scottish botany, including David Douglas and Francis Masson, who both travelled to North America in the early 1800s as part of their work.

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Image: Trees of Edinburgh

Now plans submitted by Trams to Newhaven show the area being replaced with paving and some new young trees.

Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council has launched a campaign to “Save Discovery Gardens” and asked local residents to raise awareness and express their objection to the plan.

“During lock-down the garden provided a welcome respite for many neighbours and families who do not have a garden of their own,” the council wrote in a community update.

“Nearly 20 years old now, the garden contains a mix of trees, hedges, climbing plants and flowers, attracting many species of birds and butterflies.”

Conservation campaign group Trees of Edinburgh also called for the area to be saved.

Campaign member Eleanor Harris said: “Gardens are not constructed, they are grown. This makes them literally irreplaceable.

“City gardens are not a luxury, they are a necessity – and with climate change their shading and water-absorption will become more necessary every year.

“That’s why the local residents of Leith Harbour and Newhaven asked Trees of Edinburgh for help to save the Ocean Terminal Discovery Garden.

“Our communities know gardens are irreplaceable – but their protection comes down to a dull word, ‘governance’.

“Does the city which launched the heroic plant hunters around the world have the strength of governance – the clout – to protect the long-term public good from the short-term business convenience?

“I’d like to hope Edinburgh can demonstrate it does.”

Conservation Landscape Architect and blogger Jessica Tivy visited the garden and wrote about its botanical significance on her blog in 2013.

“Representing the discoveries of the founding fathers of Scottish botany, large groupings of individual species are planted to showcase their discoveries,” she said.

“This modern, interpretive garden, provides respite within a commercial complex. Simple signage explains the layout and identifies the plants.

“Vines climb a on framework that is installed on the walls, and lighting makes it a welcoming place.

“Although discreet in its location, this garden has captured an opportunity for tourists and residents alike to discover the many species that these Scottish botanists have introduced to the landscape of Great Britain.”

A spokesperson for Ocean Terminal said: “The regeneration plans for this part of Leith are important for everyone living and working in the area and we are very happy to meet with the community council alongside Edinburgh Trams over this matter.”

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