Next time you visit McLean or the Seven Oaks Café, be sure to explore the new McLean community garden near the parking lot at 175 Armstrong Road. Several residents and the staff of the Seven Oaks Café have had great success this summer growing tomatoes, watermelons, bug-thwarting flowers and a beautiful crop of sunflowers.


Helping hands make a healthy garden

Several people played roles in creating the garden, starting with the community’s developer, who felt that the historic McLean House was the perfect location for a garden. What 19th century farm house didn’t have one?

Katie Lloyd, a landscape architect and artist with a strong interest in food-targeted public art, was asked to develop the master plan.

Whit Sanders made the 5-by-10 raised beds last winter, prepared the 5-by-40-foot planting beds and worked with community gardens enthusiast Darlene Stein to turn Katie’s plan into reality.

Darlene also planted the Seven Oaks Café’s six-row garden and designed and planted the circular “colonial garden” as a way to blend style and history into the project.

Residents began getting involved last spring. At the first community garden meeting, participants decided to go natural – meaning no pesticides. Instead, the garden relies on companion planting as a way to deter pests.

As you stroll the community garden, look for the small signs identifying our pioneer garden team and their personal plantings.


Room for more gardeners

Fall means that the last of the tomatoes will soon be picked, and the melon vines will wilt. But judging from the success of this inaugural year, the garden will likely have its share of winter plants, too.

We invite you come browse. And make plans for your own garden crops here. This is, after all, a community garden, and the more gardeners we have, the better that community will grow.


Learn more

Contact Ann Davis for how you can help with the community garden. Reach her at ‭980-987-9040‬ or