Garden blooming at 7 Eleven on the corner of Clinton and Elmwood

Garden blooming at 7 Eleven on the corner of Clinton and Elmwood
7 -11

The flower and vegetable garden outside the 7 Eleven on the corner of Clinton and Elmwood in Brighton, 8/02/16

The other day, when filling my 7 Eleven Big Gulp with soda, I complimented Rachid, the owner, on his bountiful garden on the Elmwood side of his store. How did the beautiful — and beautifying — garden come to be?


BG in the garden, 8/02/16

Part of 7 eleven garden Elmwood-Clinton

Rachid and his daughter Djiga, 8/2/16

Rachid said the project began when his daughter Djiga was in 5th grade at Council Rock Elementary School in Brighton. Djiga brought home some germinating seeds for a science project. With careful attention, Rachid and Djiga watched as the seeds grew into a mini-garden.

They enjoyed the quality time together so much that Rachid decided to grow his own garden outside his 7 Eleven store. Early morning passersby can see Rachid watering and pruning. Djiga often lends a tending hand as the two take the time to talk about flowers in particular and life in general.

Now an Elmwood Avenue landmark for about 4 years, the garden contains: roses, sunflowers, petunia. tomatoes, brussels sprouts, raspberries, peppers, corn, cucumbers, zucchini, beans, onion, and artichokes of Jerusalem.



Given the quality time he and Djiga spend there, Rachid calls the mini-oasis a “recreational garden.” But it’s also a kind of public garden. Rachid welcomes people to take a vegetable if one strikes their fancy.

jack and janes


Business partner George says people are always complimenting the garden — “they love it.”  As George notes, the garden is the only one of its kind nearby. People appreciate how the garden beautifies this part of the Clinton/Elmwood intersection. And they like the fresh vegetables occasionally taken, never to excess.

That same day down the road, I saw another blooming garden, Jack and Jane’s Friendship Garden in Highland Park on the corner of Highland and Goodman.

There, summer workers  — a student at Allegheny College and a recent Northeastern University grad, and also Aren, a volunteer from the Charle Finney School — were watering the dozens of very yellow sunflowers.

garden cropped

Summer park volunteer Aren from the Charles Finney School in the sunflowers at Jack and Jane’s Friendship Garden 8/02/16

The summer workers said the drought has taken its toll; rainfall is down five inches. So they’ve been done plenty of extra watering. And happy to report the Friendship Garden and the other gardens around the park are doing well.

UPDATE: Brighton-Pittsford Post prints “Garden blooms at local 7 Eleven”


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About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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