Kimbleton and Miller


Helen Kimbleton and Jean Miller started taking care of the gardens and trees in the neighborhood as members of the Mt. Airy Beautification committee about five years ago. Jean recalls, “Helen and I like to garden. Helen had already started the garden near the SEPTA bus depot. We went along and did paint out some graffiti. But we really consider beautification to be planting flowers.” They did not totally ignore graffiti, however. As Helen points out, “One of the first gardens I did in the community was at the Mt. Airy Times Express. They had a wall covered with graffiti. I brought some plants over and, as they grew, the flowers hid the graffiti.”

Some of the most striking and beautiful sights on the streets of Mt. Airy are the work of Helen and Jean.  They have planted and maintained gardens at the corner of Carpenter Lane and Germantown Avenue, at Fino's Pizza, at the Henry School, and at Upsal station. They have done a great deal of work at Lovett Library. Helen says, “We were friends of the library and we decided that friends would try to beautify around the library. We had some extra plants since we both have big gardens. We bought some planters and flowers, but most of the flowers came from our own gardens.” Both Helen and Jean have also taken tree tender courses. Jean says “We try to look out for the trees and weed around them.”

Helen and Jean usually work as a two-person team. Jean says, “We used to call other people. They were willing to go out for one big clean up. But it is difficult to get people to come to do an hour or so day to day. We are both retired so we can do it.” Helen, “We like to work together.” They both love to garden and enjoy contributing to the community. Helen says, “My neighbor told me, ‘I am glad you moved in.’” Jean says “Gardening is therapy for me. I think you are nearer to God in a garden than anywhere else.”