Four Flags gardeners provide new gardens at Depot

Published 7:47 pm Thursday, July 15, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- A new and improved fence line and perennial garden is helping to compliment the Niles' Amtrak Depot by providing it with a landscape worthy of the historic building.
The Four Flags Garden Club is responsible for initiating the improvements, which include a totally replanted garden of perennials and a spruced up fence line garden planted with roses and hostas.
Among the additions are the 11 new rose bushes, which were donated by the Mishawaka-based Ginger Valley. Nine of them are staggered along the fence and two can be found in the perennial garden.
The depot has served at the garden club's project site for several years and their work is having a noticeable payoff.
When Gail Borland became president of the Four Flags Garden Club two years ago, she had two goals in mind for the depot: address the perennial garden and the fence line.
Other than general upkeep, both gardens are now nearing completion. The only large project remaining is to top dress the gardens with a three inch layer of mulch.
She said the other gardens located around the depot will give the club plenty of work in the future.
With the help of Glen Pointer and Joe Ferguson of Pointer Perennials, the club has removed the old landscape timbers and installed new steel edging all along the fence line and perennial garden. They also helped the club to remove the old roses and plant the new ones.
Helena Kaminski, a relatively new garden club member, serves as the club's rose expert. She has been planting roses for years and took on the responsibility of babying the new plants.
It is her hope that the garden will provide an additional reason for people to come visit the train station.
After her husband died in 2002, she moved to Niles to be closer to her daughter.
The Garden Club and her pet rose project at the depot have made her feel more part of the Niles community.
While working on the property, Borland recently bumped into a Chicago woman who frequently takes the train to Niles to meet with her sister. The woman told Borland she loves what they have done with the gardens and often takes an early train, just so she can relax and enjoy the atmosphere.