“Plant Dreams, Pull weeds & Grow a happy Life” reads the sign above the Nease Garden. Beautiful, serene and unknown to most, the Nease Garden provides a place for fresh air and escape. Located halfway down Nease Hall and in the hills lies a peaceful little garden.
The exact date or time the garden was built is unknown due to lack of records and documentation for the garden, according to Alessandra Casey, a sustainability officer for PLNU. However, it was built within the larger context of an effort to interest students in sustainability and creation care. Being grown currently in the garden are a lot of flowers, baby kale and various types of succulents.
“The garden is just one of the avenues used to engage students in our community,” Casey said. The garden was created as a way to give back to students at PLNU because they are “ultimately who we want to invest in so that they can go out and inspire change in the prospective communities they become a part of upon graduation,” she said.
According to the sign that hangs below the garden’s entrance, anyone can garden there if they get permission from the sustainability department. Otherwise the garden’s main use according to Casey is “a living-learning lab for the for the University’s Sustainability in Action course.” However, the course leaves plots open for other students, such as sophomore Christian Studies major Kassy Fitzpatrick, who want to grow their own plants.
Fitzpatrick likes hanging plants, and in her garden at home, she grows vegetables such as cucumbers and tomatoes. Fitzpatrick said she plans to garden in the Nease garden and plans to eventually have her own home garden featuring “tomatoes, cucumbers and sunflowers.”
In San Diego, flowers and vegetables like those mentioned above grow well. Dr. Dianne Anderson, the biology’s program director and professor of biology, also has her own garden at home. Because of the cooler and wetter climate in San Diego, compared to other areas of California where it’s hotter and drier, growth “slows down a little bit” according to Anderson. In her previous home gardens, Anderson has grown tomatoes, lettuce, kale but not corn because that needs a hotter and drier climate.
Whether you’re looking to flex your green thumb or find a peaceful escape, the Nease garden offers it all.
Written By: Ally Andre