Strolling behind the Garden house, your nose catches the distinctive scent of rosemary. Piney and citrusy. A hedge of the aromatic plant, with needle-like leaves and tiny purple flowers, surrounds the patio. The aroma draws you down the steps into the Herb Garden.
Rosemary is the scent of remembrance and friendship. It’s a perfect gateway to the Sharon Kern Culinary Herb Garden.
Sharon Kern loved to cook. Her husband Dennis described her fare as organic, spicy and fresh. She was a caterer and she also prepared dishes for her restaurant Classic Cuisine in El Centro. Sharon was among the original farm-to-table creators. She visited local cultivators and built her menu around their produce: asparagus, iceberg lettuce, sweet onions and more.
She had a steady following of food lovers. Like the scent of rosemary, Sharon was distinctive and much loved.
When Sharon died in 2010, Dennis honored his wife’s memory by helping Alta Vista build a Culinary Herb Garden.
Naomi Stein, a friend to Sharon, designed a patio with an archway leading down steps to raised beds built of stone. Each is filled with culinary herbs: pungent basil, earthy oregano, mint and sage and thyme.
Dennis wanted the Garden to include art. He commissioned Phillip Glashoff to create gastronomically themed sculptures. He was delighted with the results; whimsical epicurean creatures donning kitchen pots and whisks, spatulas and colanders.
Chef Sheri, with spoon curls and a big heart, stands amidst lemon grass and society garlic.
Chef D, surrounded by sage, waves his soup ladle.
Silly Boy Trey pokes fun as he tiptoes in mint.
Magical Penelope Hoop, hair blowing, wades in oregano and lavender.
The Flying Chef soars above a tower of growing hops, his tail turning in the breeze.
Fun and fanciful, the sculptures pay tribute to Sharon’s creative spirit and are a delightful favorite of Garden visitors.
Dennis visits the Herb Garden, clippers in hand, to trim and tend. Recently, he commissioned Melissa Ralston to freshen the sculptures with new paint. He’s a good friend of the Gardens.
Be sure to say hello if you happen upon him.