Thanks to some neighborhood green thumbs, our streets are blooming.

A group of volunteer gardeners, headed by Renee Richeson, is planting perennial and drought-hardy Texas plants at the intersection of Gaston and Cambria to “make it a little prettier,” Richeson says. The project began in May and has continued through the summer.

“It’s a corner that is very heavy trafficked,” Richeson says. “Before, it was just weeds and fleas. We hope it will be something nice to look at.”

The Gaston-Cambria plot is 50-foot-long, three-sided triangle. The project is one of four gardening efforts supported by the Lakewood Homeowners Association.

Richeson’s partners Ruby and Bill Frazier  approached the association for help with the project. the association donated plants and volunteered to pay the water bill for the garden, Richeson says.

To garden the Gaston-Cambria plot, Richeson had to submit a proposal to the City’s Streets and Sanitattion Department.

“You have to go through a certain red tape from the City so they don’t come over and mow it (the plants) down,” Richeson says.

Even when the City allows the gardening, it doesn’t take responsibility for maintaining the plot, Richeson says. Neighbors do all the work.

And neighbors have been happily pitching in, Richeson says. There are currently about 15 volunteers signed up to help garden.

Bob Parker donated $100 for plants. Barbara Moreno donated some stone for a walkway, and Patrick Butterworth donated plants and helped site preparation.

Neighborhood business also are contributing. Donations have been made by Back to Earth, Mother Nature and Rhode’s nurseries.

“I’ve been surprised at how willing people are to give  up some time and some plants,” Richeson says.

Other Neighborhood gardening projects include the Gaston and Richmond intersection, headed by Rosalie Griffin, the Gaston and Westshore intersection, headed by Carla Thatcher, and the Gaston and Country Club intersection, headed by Bob Booker.

The Lakewood homeowner’s Association also plants wildflowers throughout our neighborhood, leads a tree planting effort every October, and helps with beautification at White Rock Lake.

The wildflower project is headed by Susan Berlin and Heather Gilker. Medora Davison heads the tree project, and Albin and Ellen Tarry head the lake project.

For information about these projects, call Susan Falvo at 720-1883. Richeson can be reached at 828-4151.

Richeson worked with Charles Foster of Streets and Sanitation to start her gardening effort. He can be reached at 670-4966.

By Stacy Ann Thomas