- [Voiceover] On this Volunteer Gardener, we visit garden spots unique to our community. A connection to nature has a profound impact on quality of life, and that's certainly true for individuals with dementia. The courtyard at Abe's Garden is a safe, expensive environment that encourages engagement for residents and their guests. The Franklin Police headquarters is a recognized leader in sustainability design features, including a 32,000 square foot green roof using native plants, and the Betty Brown Tree Trail at Riverfront Park is Nashville's first downtown arboretum, just waiting to be explored. So much to be proud of. Join us. First, a place for discovery, tranquility, and involvement for those with Alzheimer's. - [Voiceover] Today I'm going to show you an incredible garden. This is the courtyard at Abe's Garden, a unique installation that is designed with more considerations than I've ever had to think of when I've designed a garden. I can't wait to share with you. - The idea of planning for persons with Alzheimer's and dementia is very specific. So, there's a lot of thought that goes into it related to, we've met with gerontologists, we've done a lot of research on precedent developments, so many different aspects that are unique for that community that we really have to plan for, such as transitions from interior to outdoor spaces; older eyes need a little bit more time to transition. - Right. I noticed you coming out of a door, it's not like, bam, you're outside. There's a little portico. - You comb through the porch. - There's a little canopy. Yeah. - Yeah, exactly. - Yeah, everything is so thoughtful here. - It is really trying to pay attention to senses, to really engage your senses in every place that you can, so there's a little bit of sound with water, with the wind chimes, there's smell; we've really tried to introduce the idea of some fragrant material, tried to pay a lot of attention to the seasons so that we're getting a lot of seasonality with our plant materials. We also really introduced a lot of color. - Right. Kim, I love this space right here. This combination of big boulders and wood, and it's like a playground. - It is. It's one of the ideas. We've really tried to connect people to nature, and so doing it here, through recovered boulders from the site or recovered oak tree, and this is not just for the residents, but really for everybody. It's really funny: what we've seen already is this was intended to actually be nature play. And so we see little children climbing on the rocks or the stones. - Oh, what fun, hopping from stump to stump. - Exactly. It makes it just a lot more fun, but it's beautiful to look at, connects residents, caregivers, etc. with nature. - And texturally. It's got so much texture. - It does. - It's really lovely. - Fun to touch. You can sit on, you can stand on. You can jump around, and it just makes it for a fun spot within the garden for everybody. - [Marty] And a water feature. How delightful. - Well, and one of the things we tried to do with this garden is to really make it very elemental, so it's kind of earth, wind, fire, water. The water feature will have koi in it, as well. Again, the idea of movement and a little bit of color and a little bit of something different for the garden. - And you can even... - And it's really intended to actually get your hands in it. This is a place where we never say no; we always want to say yes, so can I get my hands in the water? Yes. Can I splash it all over? Yes. - And open access. Can I go outside? - [Both] Yes. - [Marty] One of the great things I'm seeing here, Kim, is the ability for people to actually do things, to grow things if they desire these terrific raised beds. - If they want to get their hands in the dirt, we want them to get their hands in the dirt. So, this bed has been designed so that if you're standing, you have support. If you want to reach over and garden, if you're in a wheelchair, you can slide underneath and have access. So, what we've provided is that gardening to be able to be at several different levels, here, and you'll see it throughout the garden in a number of different places. - Accessibility is just amazing here. - Accessibility, and it's everybody's not able the same, so sometimes, you have a walker, sometimes you have nothing, sometimes you're in a wheelchair, and so this vertical garden, which is getting ready to get planted with a lot of the herbs provides so many different levels so that - [Marty] I see... at whatever level you're at, - [Marty] three different. - [Kim] you can get your hands in the dirt. - Oh, that's wonderful and so easy, you can just roll along this walk. - Exactly. We always want to be able to say, yes you can. - [Marty] I see you've got in-ground level beds, here, too. - You have to have a tomato in a garden. - Oh my gosh. And bell peppers for Heaven's sake. And that looks like a little trellis thing over there on the other side. - Yes, the trellis is for peas or beans or cucumbers or any of those kind of vining vegetables, so you get it at all levels. - You can grow all kinds of stuff here. Now, I want to ask you about your plant selections, because not only are you talking about seasonality, but also there are other considerations you have to take into account. - Very unique. Toxicity is one of things we really had to pay attention to. - No kidding. - So, we need to make sure that if somebody does accidentally ingest something, that they're gonna be okay. - That's not gonna, yeah. - What you might not think about is a lot of those evergreens that we use a lot, boxwood, taxis, laurels to some degree, really have some toxicity to them, so we've had to change them up a little bit. Here we've used some dwarf nandina, distylium, which is a newer evergreen, vintage jade is the one that we've used here, and we've used a number of grasses that also add to some structure of the garden so that it's there still in the winter time, but we get some of the movement when the breeze comes through. - And I see you've got some nice flowering perennials and things for color and season. - [Kim] Exactly. That's that idea of really trying to tie in to season. - Kim, one of the things I noticed is how many gathering areas there are that have been designed into this. - Yes, and that happens at many of the different households. We happen to be, right now, right outside of music and movement, so the idea that you might do indoors yoga, you might come outside, do chair yoga, or dance, and then if you have a larger group, and/or more ambulatory, you might go on into the lawn. - [Marty] Oh, I see. - [Kim] So, it really allows for a lot of engagement there, and then right over on the side, we have our fireplace area. - [Marty] Right. And another little setting place. - [Kim] Another little gathering area-- - [Marty] Chilly, autumn night. - Exactly. Especially sitting in that rocking chair. That's where I would go. One of the real goals at Abe's Garden is to make sure that every resident comes outside every day, and who wouldn't want to with a garden like this? But we're, right now, underneath this covered arbor that allows that to happen. You come out of the door, there's visual access to the next door, and so it makes it very easy and comfortable to be able to come out, take a walk, meander through the site, and be comfortable the whole time. - Yeah, and not worry, no matter what the weather is. - No matter what the weather is. - And being enclosed like this is gonna be a slightly micro-climate, a little warmer, I would think. - Exactly. Being inside this courtyard. - In the winter, it won't be so fierce. And these lovely plantings, really, I just see blooming dogwoods, and you've really given a lot of thought to-- - [Kim] Dogwoods with the wind chimes, and always trying to bring in those senses. We have a number of different hydrangeas. A lot of our ground cover here, the ajuga, the lirio, several different hostas, so we're really trying to play with texture and color, all kind of together. But one of our different places that we really wanted to remind you of home is our backyard grill. - [Marty] Oh, sure. - And one of the things you've noticed, we've talked about the herbs all over the garden, and those herbs-- - [Marty] You're growing a lot of food. - [Kim] We're growing. - [Marty] That makes perfect sense here. - Exactly. So, those herbs can be used in cooking, whether in the household, at the grill, in the kitchen, so we really want to integrate it just the way you do it at home. - Exactly. It's like your garden gardened a table. I think one of things that I really like about this place, one of the many things, is how it's not an isolated space. I mean, that's Park Manor right there, is it not? - [Kim] It is. And we really highlight this courtyard so that from those balconies, those windows, all the way around, you kind of look down into this space. It's a beautiful space, so why isolate it? Let you be a part of it. - [Marty] And I know you're putting in a roof garden up there. You've been-- - [Kim] Yes, we have a green roof up there that's in the middle of just starting to go in, but that also provides a great place for again, Park Manor to be able to be out on that terrace, overlooking this garden, they have an arbor. - [Marty] Sharing the space. - [Kim] Yes, being a part of the space together. - [Marty] How nice. Well, just the planting that's gone into this, it's just mind-boggling. - It has been such a collaboration through the whole process with aging experts from across the United States, and as you can imagine, none of this happens without really a hand-in-hand collaboration with our architects, lighting designers, the interior designers, the structural engineers, everybody had the same mindset for this, and with staff, staff was involved every step of the way. - I'm interested in the therapeutic value; it seems like there's physical and emotional and mental components to all of this. - As you know, when people have dementia, often their short term memory's gone, so this garden will stimulate the long term memory, whether it's in the sense of garden or just walking around, looking at a water feature, which we have, we also have a little playground, so if their grandchildren come, they can sit on the rocks and jump on the logs. It's just a lot of different things. - They get intergenerational in that way. - Exactly. That's important. - Yeah, it's to keep them connected to their family in those ways, not isolated. One thing I notice about this entire design is that it's got a lot going on, but it's all very holistic; there's no blind alleys. - [Beverly] And there's not straight paths; it all loops around, so there's no this is where you start, this is where you stop; it continually goes around. People who have dementia won't get lost. - [Marty] A spectacular space. What an accomplishment. - [Voiceover] Thank you, for all of us. It's been a long time in the making and so well-worth while. - It's just a delight. - With so much development and construction in downtown Nashville, there' s so many things going on, and I'm here at a brand new park that you may not even know about. It's next to the amphitheater, and I'm walking around the Betty Brown Tree Trail. I'm here with Vicki Turner, and she's gonna show us around and tell us about some of the trees. What is this one right here? - This is a Persian ironwood. As the name indicates, it is originally from Persia, which in modern day terms, would be Iran, Armenia, and Turkey. It's a member of the witch hazel family, so in the late winter, it has a witch hazel-type magenta blossom. In the fall, it also has very, very pretty color, and when this tree gets older, it will have an exfoliating bark similar to a lacebark elm. - Yeah, very nice. So, this is a really great meeting location to see lots of seating and benches. - Yes, you're right. When Kim Hawkins gave a tour for the National Tree Foundation of this site, she explained it as being Nashville's front porch. - [Phillipe] Yeah, it really is. - [Vicki] Facing the river, and I think that is just a perfect description of what this park is: Nashville's front porch. - [Phillipe] It is. A lot of the seats are oriented to look at the river, to connect to. - [Vicki] Right. So, this is a yellowwood. It is native to Kentucky, and it gets its name from the fact that the heartwood is actually yellow. It's one of the few trees that has smooth bark, so similar to the bark of a beech tree. And then it has very showy blossoms in the spring time. - [Phillipe] Wonderful. - [Vicki] That resemble white wisteria blossoms. - It's got a really nice up-right structure, also. And this is a brand new park, so most of these trees have been newly planted, so they're just going to continue to really show their glory. - You're absolutely right. They've only been planted about a month. - Wow. - Happily, we have it fully irrigated, so most of them will survive. - This looks like a magnolia. - You are absolutely right. This is called a cucumber magnolia; it is native to the south. It's one of our larger magnolias. This can get to be about 75 feet tall, and it's very fast-growing, as well. What's unique to this tree is it has yellow blossoms; we're used to white blossoms with our magnolias, but these are yellow blossoms. - [Phillipe] And it's also deciduous, right? - [Vicki] Yes. - [Phillipe] Which where we're used to the evergreen ones. - [Vicki] Exactly. And it is deciduous; you are correct. - [Phillip] Cool. So, you've got a lot of really interesting species around? - [Vicki] There's great diversity. - [Phillipe] I love the mix of different perennials and annuals that are interplanted throughout the whole park. It's really nice. - [Vicki] It's great to have the diversity of the trees, but then also with the plant material. - [Phillipe] Uh huh. Yeah. So, this looks like quite a mighty oak in front of us right here. - [Vicki] You are right, Phillipe. This is an overcup oak. Just to give you a little backstory, oaks are either of the white oak family or the red oak family. If the leaf tip ends in a bristle tip, it's in the red oak family. What's very distinctive about this tree is when it forms its acorns; about three-quarters of the acorn is inclosed by a lacy hall. It's very, very easy to identify. - [Phillipe] And this multi-trunk: is this another magnolia right here? - [Vicki] Yes! Phillipe, you're great with your magnolias. This is a sweetbay magnolia, and as you pointed out, it generally does have several trunks. What's interesting about this tree is that in the south, it is evergreen, and in the north, it's deciduous. It has a tiny, white flower that has a lemon scent. Lastly, we have a blackgum. - [Phillipe] And this has those red leaves in it right now? - [Vicki] Exactly. The blackgum is actually in the dogwood family. It is also known as a water tupelo. The word tupelo is Greek for swamp tree, so it also likes wet, moist soil. - [Phillipe] And it's a brilliant red, too. It's not just a dirty red. - [Vicki] And it ends up being - [Vicki] a brilliant red. When it gets a little bit older, the bark will resemble an alligator skin, but now, when it's young, it's rather smooth. - [Phillipe] I love that there's a dog park downtown now. That's awesome. - [Vicki] Yeah, long overdue. - [Phillipe] Yeah, very long overdue. So, next to the entrance of the dog park, is this another oak tree? - [Vicki] You're right, Phillipe. This is a white oak. We spoke earlier about the two oak families. This is firmly in the white oak family, and so rather than the bristle tips on the leaves, these are rounded lobes. This is really, the white oak is the royalty of the oak family. This is a tree that will grow slowly, but will live for several hundred years. It can get to be 100 to 120 feet tall, and that wide, as well. It is a really magnificent, splendid tree when it is mature. Now, the timber is also very valuable; the wood of the white oak is impervious to liquid, so this is the wood of preference for whiskey barrels and wine barrels. You'll want to notice this interesting sculpture. The bends in the sculpture depict the bends in the Cumberland River through Davidson County. - [Phillipe] Sure. So, running all along First Avenue right here, we've got a beautiful alley of, what are these trees? - This is a London plain tree, and this is actually a hybrid from an American sycamore and a Chinese sycamore. - Okay. - And actually, the hybrid is hardier than the parents, and normally with hybrids, the seeds are not viable, but not the case with the London plain tree. This tree flourished in London during the 18th and 19th century when the city was just enshrouded in cold smoke, so it is definitely a proven pollution-resistant tree. - [Phillipe] So, your number one brown field tree. Yeah. - [Vicki] Exactly. - [Phillipe] Awesome. - [Vicki] It has that beautiful exfoliating bark, as well, and it's the single most planted tree species in the arboretum. - Wonderful. Wonderful. Yeah. I mean this alley is very grand; I love to see that. And these will eventually arch over and touch at some point, and you'll get that nice shade? - Oh yes, these trees will get to be 100 feet tall. - Cool. Very cool. So, I've got a marker here with our tulip poplar leaf on it. Is this your seal? - Yes. It's also the National Tree Foundation seal and highly appropriate, because it's also the Tennessee state tree. Tulip Poplar. - Yeah, it's wonderful. Well, I just love the size of this park and the trees. I can't wait to see them all grow as our city is growing. - [Vicki] Right. And we can all enjoy the season's change on the Betty Brown Tree Trail. - [Phillipe] Yeah. The reason why we have this new arboretum is because of the National Tree Foundation. I'm here with Pat Wallace; the current president. So, tell me a little bit about the history of that and who she is. - Betty Brown was the first president and founder of the National Tree Foundation in 1986. Well-know Nashvillian, loved trees, loved her wildflower gardens, and she also actually, with Sandra Fulton, they created the first Riverfront Park, which is a very small park at the end of Broadway, but overlooking the river. She had much grander ideas. We are able to participate in this, because of the memorial gifts that were made in her honor. She really was the instigator of the formation of it in 1986. That was the year that we had Homecoming '86, which was a grand scheme by Lamar Alexander. Someone described it to me as kind of like you hear your great aunt's coming for Christmas and you really need to spruce up, so that was his idea of sprucing up the state. - Wonderful. - And in Nashville, we, well there were several projects. One of the projects was to plant 1,986 trees in the state of Tennessee, and we exceeded that. - [Phillipe] What other projects does National Tree Foundation sponsor? - [Pat] Well, we have two of what we consider big ones. One is Relief Nashville Day on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. That began in 1998 when we had the tornado that came through the park, through downtown and into East Nashville and took away so many trees. We raised a million dollars and galvanized the community to replant. So, the first year, it was in East Nashville, and it was something that people really liked doing, wanted to do again. So, we've done it every year since then. - Yeah, yeah. Wonderful. I think I've actually planted trees, I didn't realize that's what I was doing it with. - Good for you! Thanks. Come again! - Sure. Yeah, of course. - The other thing we do is have a big ol' tree party. And what we're doing is taking a census of the oldest and largest of the species of trees in Nashville. It's kind of a contest; there's no big prize, but we have a gathering to recognize that every year, on the last Friday of April. - [Phillipe] Wonderful. Yeah. As a native Nashvillian, it's wonderful to see the trees continuously being planted. I think one of the things I've heard is the best time to plant a tree is yesterday. And you're doing that. That's wonderful. I specifically appreciate the work that y'all do. - [Pat] Thank you so much for expressing that. I will remember to share it with our whole group. - This is the second-largest, all native green roof in the United States, covering roughly half an acre. Not only is it a beautiful space, it is a truly functional space. All of the rain water from the roof, as well as the surrounding property, is collected in a 50,000 gallon basin underneath the building. That water is then recycled up here to the roof. It also helps to cool the building, just the soil up here, itself, having the water running through that soil, and the insulation layer that this provides dramatically reduces energy consumption for the Franklin Police Department. I'm very pleased to be joined by Mayor Ken Moore here in Franklin. Mayor, this is a pretty progressive initiative for a city the size of Franklin to have a large building like this with a green roof on top of it. Tell me a little bit about how it came about. - Well, actually, you're correct that Franklin is very involved in sustainability, and our definition is that we're saving resources for future generations; we're not gonna waste them now. We approach it in a little different way than maybe many people do, because we approach it as far as a cost savings. If we can justify doing things such as a green roof or energy-saving measures and they pay for themselves, we do them. We don't do them just because they're green. - Right. - We have to have a payback. - A reason to do them. - [Ken] Yeah. This particular building was designed just before I became an alderman in 2007, so kudos to our former alderman who had the vision to include this and probably didn't even really talk much about sustainability. It just seemed to be the right thing to do, and it's kind of interesting that this is a gold LEED certified building, and we have an ordinance in our city that requires that all future city-buildings be LEED certified if financially feasible. - The plants that live up here have to be exceptionally drought-tolerant, even though they are irrigated with this subterranean irrigation system, they're only growing in about four inches of soil. So, everything that you see, growing here on this roof has to be able to survive in the that very shallow, very well-drained soil, and that's why some of the cedar glade species, like the Tennessee coneflower, thrive up here, because it's the same kind of rocky-type soil that they would grow in in their native habitat. In addition to being drought-tolerant, one of the characteristics that the nursery men are looking for is a plant's ability to reseed. There were approximately 19,000 plants that went on this roof, just as tiny, little two-inch plugs in the very beginning, and now they estimate that there are between 40 and 50,000 individual plants up here on the green roof. Most of that has come from just natural reseeding, with only occasional additional plantings by the folks who care for the roof. So, is this obtainable for a homeowner? Possibly. There are several things to consider, however. The very weight of this roof requires tremendous amount of structure underneath it, so if you're building a new home and you're interested in a green roof, you need to take that into account from the very beginning. Architecturally and from an engineering standpoint, your house has to be built in order to support the physical weight of a roof like this. There are also irrigation considerations. There are maintenance considerations. Obviously, a green roof has to be fairly flat to be very successful. It requires a certain depth of soil that on a pitched roof, would migrate, wash; there are a lot of considerations. So, is it doable? The answer is yes. Absolutely. But there has to be some planning on the front end. I would like to take just a moment to thank Grow Wild for providing me with tremendous amount of information about green roofs and thank the city of Franklin and the Mayor for stopping by to give us his insight. I hope you enjoyed having this opportunity to take a sneak peek at a place that most of us just never get to see.
September 17, 2015
Season 24 | Episode 12
On Nashville Public Television's Volunteer Gardener the courtyard at Abe's Garden is a safe, expansive environment that encourages engagement in nature for residents with dementia. The Franklin Police headquarters is a recognized leader in sustainability features, including a 1/2 acre green roof using native plants. The Betty Brown Tree Trail at Riverfront Park; Nashville's new downtown arboretum.