“Miss Glenn’s Magic Garden” offers up fresh herbs at Westport Post Office

Glenn Stewart asked the Westport Post Office staff if she could start a small garden in front of the building a few years ago, because she lived in an apartment and missed digging in the dirt. Each year now her “Magic Garden” expands to offer fresh herbs to neighbors and bring a smile to those who pass by. The garden is on the Urban Grown Farms & Gardens Tour this coming weekend.

The wall in front of the Westport Post Office used to be known as a sort of hang out for homeless people.

It could be a little intimidating to pass by the wall where they congregated.

For the last several years, however, the front of the post office has been gradually transformed into “the Magic Garden.”

The post office as Stewart’s garden project was just getting started. Photo courtesy Tanya Yancey.

It all began when Glenn Stewart, who lived in an apartment nearby, asked postal officials if she might just start a few plants. She missed gardening and saw a spot that could use a little beautifying.

They agreed and Stewart started pruning the existing roses and adding a few new green things.

“It fills my creative need. You have to give over to nature, and it teaches you,” Stewart says.

The next year, she expanded the space, and the next year some more. She enlisted the help of Westport business owners and residents to move in a railroad tie she found on Broadway and a brick column that had been damaged by a car.

Stewart keeps the bird feeder stocked. Photo by Tanya Yancey.

People passing by stopped to offer her cuttings. The neighboring business, Mario’s, hooked up a hose. She added a birdfeeder, and the feeder dropped sunflower seeds that grew as tall as the children who came to admire them.

The Heart of Westport Neighborhood Association and nearby Redeemer Church have made contributions to allow the garden to expand. It now wraps around the side of the building.

This year, as she prepares to welcome people as part of the Urban Grown Farms & Gardens Tour this weekend, the garden is overflowing with mint, oregano, chives and other herbs. Stewart offers sprigs to folks who stop to talk with her and insists they’re there for anyone who wants them.

She frequently visits the garden after work, and often starts her day there as well.

“Sometimes I come in the morning and eat my oatmeal or fruit.”

She’s not bothered when a plant she put in one spot decides to migrate to a different spot. In fact, she embraces the change.

Stewart makes short films and says her philosophy of gardening is the same as her approach to filmmaking.

“ I want the story to unfold on its own,” she says.

Over the years, a lot of people coming to the post office have come to know “Miss Glenn.”

Tanya Yancey, who works in the post office, says, “A lot of customers really enjoy this. People ask about it and the regulars know Miss Glenn now.”

Stewart says people often stop and ask about her gardening, and often express their puzzlement that she doesn’t get paid.

“Yeah, I do,” she says.

Just last week, she was working in the garden when a man walked by and said, “You have a green thumb, don’t you?”

He told Stewart he was one of the people who used to hang out on the wall.

“I was one of the guys who used to sit on this wall, and now look what you’ve done. God bless you.”

Stewart shook his hand and said, ”Bless you back!”


Urban Grown Farms & Gardens Tour

The Magic Garden in full splendor this week.


One response to ““Miss Glenn’s Magic Garden” offers up fresh herbs at Westport Post Office”

  1. […] magic garden for almost a decade. Miss Glenn (as she is known to locals) even participated in the Urban Grown Farms & Garden Tours back in 2013. But that could all come to an end […]