Our website introduces Meggo as Megan Lee - “horticulturist & interior design” but she does so much more. She’s been around since Aslan was just an idea and has helped this place grow into what it is now. If you ever see her, guaranteed she has a smile on her face or is laughing about something. When I asked her what makes her so happy she said, “a serotonin imbalance? The world?”
The day I shadowed Meggo started with noticing all of the plants we have at Aslan and taking care of them. She carried a wicker basket with different tools in it, including a spray bottle full of seaweed extract.
“The plants love it,” she said with a smile.
Meggo has gotten to know the plants over a course of three years and talks about each one as if they were people, giving them names and stories of their growth. She got most of the plants from Central and South American jungles because of the light restrictions in Aslan. A majority of them are epiphytes, which means they grow in the trees and get filtered sunlight. They also love humidity, hence the seaweed extract spray.
Every week each plant gets its soil moisture measured and are watered according to their preferences that Meggo has memorized. The time and close attention to detail is truly inspiring.
After we watered and trimmed all the plants inside, we moved out to the beer garden. We re-planted the large pot that sits next to the door with different flowers and then shuffled over to the flower bed in the front of the restaurant. I’m not sure if you’ve ever taken time to admire this garden but I recommend you take a gander at the collage of stained glass below it (Meggo did that too). Also look out for dish-sized Dahlias coming in August!
Our last project was cleaning up the rain gardens in front of the restaurant. A rain garden, or a bioretention cell, is a garden that catches rainwater runoff from impervious urban areas. Each plant in the garden is chosen because of its ability to withstand high amounts of toxins and is capable of holding a lot of water. So if you see them sitting in water after a downpour, just know that they love it! They’re helping us filter all the muck from the streets from going straight to Whatcom Creek (which connects to the ocean).
“The hope is that it slows the flow of water and collects sediment, which decreases turbidity and helps the little fish in the streams,” she said.
Meggo is apart of the Greenways Advisory Committee, a committee in which she advises the city where new green spaces and trails should be created. She’s serious about plants and puts a lot of time into making sure that they’re healthy and happy.
I was curious if there were citywide benefits of these philanthropic hours spent but apparently there aren’t any. I wonder how hard it would be for Bellingham to motion towards awarding those who think about the wellbeing of our environment.