The following is a summary of an article written by Valerie Murray, Head Gardener of the Friends of Government House, which will appear in full in the upcoming edition of the Cary Bulletin.

In the summer of 2012 The Friends of Government House Gardens lost a long time volunteer with the death of Akiko Kamitakara. Akiko was a kind, generous and very humble individual who gave tirelessly to her community without attracting any attention to herself.

When Akiko died she left a bequest to the Friends of Government House and last fall we began to plan how we would direct some of these funds. The project that we had in mind was to give some shape and structure to the Woodland’s Lookout that we hope to use as a demonstration garden to encourage people to grow more native plants in their own gardens. Hardscape is usually one of the most expensive parts of any garden plan so it was felt that this was a good way Akiko’s gift could benefit our gardens.  We began looking for a set of stones anchored by a large upright piece to symbolize a small, strong Japanese woman.

The generosity and spirit of Akiko pervaded the entire project. The perfect stones were found by Larry Myers, a garden designer who was working on a construction project in the area with Ron Egli of Ron Egli Construction, who donated the stones and the use of a flatbed truck and crane to move and position them.

It all came together on July 31st with efforts of the Woodlands volunteers, Larry, and Ron. Below is a compressed view of the work that took place over a couple of hours.