Mindful Living Garden

Welcome! Neighbors, please pop by and enjoy the garden!

This year, we’ve planned new raised beds, educational components, and walking path improvements.

The Mindful Living Garden is located at 3323 N Drake, near Avondale Park in Chicago. During the growing season, community members are welcome to join Avondale Gardeners on scheduled workdays to work and learn together. The rest of the week, community members can come and go as they please, enjoying the meditative space. The AGA Mindful Living Community Garden grows produce specifically for the Avondale Mutual Aid to address food insecurity in Avondale.

This year, we are looking forward to increasing signage to bring a more engaging experience to garden visitors. Also, a beautiful Polish heritage inspired mural is being added. Stop by and watch our progress!

The AGA is an approved partner of the U of I Master Gardener program for volunteer hours! Contact us for details: AvondaleGardeners@gmail.com

Garden Bed Signs: Fun Facts!

I’m purple dead nettle!

Purple dead nettle carpets much of the Mindful Living Garden. Good thing too because this plant is super useful. It’s the earliest bloomer in the garden, providing pollinator much needed early spring sustenance. As a medicinal herb, purple dead nettle has astringent, purgative, diuretic, and diaphoretic properties. It’s also anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial. Fresh leaves can be applied to wounds as a poultice. You can also enjoy fresh or dry leaves as a tea. Follow this link for more information about how to use purple dead nettle.

Pollinators include birds, bees, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, bats and some other mammals.

Pollination is the act of transferring pollen grains from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma. The goal of every living organism, including plants, is to create offspring for the next generation. One of the ways that plants can produce offspring is by making seeds.

In this mutualistic relationship, the pollinators get to eat, and the flowering plants get to reproduce.

Larkspur Image

Larkspur (Consolida regalis) are annual plants found throughout North America, Europe, and parts of Africa. You’ll commonly see blue flowers, but other varieties are pink, white, or yellow.

Do not ingest – All parts of the plant are poisonous (especially the seeds) to people pets, and livestock.

Fun fact: Larkspur has been used in lotions to kill lice, crabs, and other parasites.

Tickseed (Coreopsis spp.) are native to North America and produce daisy-like flowers. You’ll see a variety of colors: yellow, orange, pink, purple, and red. Pollinators are drawn to the beautiful blooms, while birds eat the seeds in fall and winter.

Fun fact: They got the name tickseed because their seeds resemble ticks!

Elderberry (Sambucus spp.) are native across the U.S. They produce white flowers and berries. Bees, wasps and beetles are strongly attracted to the flowers. They are the sole home and food source for the threatened Elderberry Longhorn Beetle.

Fun fact: The berries are used in jams, jellies, pies and syrups.

Note: Don’t eat stems, leaves, or unripe berries. They’re toxic! Other poisonous plants look similar to Elderberry.

Updates and Events Through the Years

2022 Plans:

ONGOING – mural beautification project on the MLG shed! Claire Jakubiszyn’s design based on the polish papercutting art of Wycinanki:

Sat Apr 16th – Big Ass Workday at MLG!  Rain delay day backup plan the 17th 

Fri June 24th – MLG Happy Hour at 5p

Fri July 15th – MLG Happy Hour at 5p

2021 Events and Activities archived below!  

    Sun Apr 4th – work day

    Thurs April 8th – large group meeting via Zoom

    Sun April 11th 9a – work day; preparing the garden for new beds

    Thurs Apr 15th 6p – Slack App tutorial via Zoom

    Sun Apr 18th – Raised beds install/workshop at MLG (10a) and MASSIVE WORKDAY

    Sun Apr 25th – 11a-1p Thank you day in the garden

    Fri June 11th – MLG Happy Hour at 5p

    Wed Oct 20th – work day to finish new raised bed