Friday, October 4, 2013

A Green Oasis at Brooks and Airways - Trees by Touliatos

Blight is normally a slow process, as an empty property slowly succumbs to the forces of time and nature. Maintaining any man-made structure or environment is a battle against entropy, and there is always a certain sad beauty to decay as the earth reclaims a part of itself.

Trees by Touliatos was a sprawling 20-acre plant nursery on Brooks Road next to Airways with an impressive assortment of water plants and fountains that made it seem like a perfect oasis in the desert of crumbling concrete that generally defines the area around the Memphis International Airport. The business has only been closed for two years, but as I was driving past yesterday I noticed how quickly nature was reclaiming the property.

I parked and began poking around the property, photographing the stunning speed of plant life overtaking a property that was inherently designed to nurture plant life. This post isn't being critical of the Touliatos family in any way, shape or form. The business owners spent decades operating a vibrant enterprise in an unlikely location that stayed successful long after blight had already come to define most of the surrounding area. And the son of the company's retired founders is still doing landscape design work in the Memphis area.

There isn't any barbecue in this post, but beyond the food a bigger focus of this blog is to expose readers to parts of the city they may be unfamiliar with. After some time walking around the old Trees by Touliatos grounds I decided the images I captured were worth sharing. Whenever you hear people reference "the end of the world" they actually mean an end of humanity. Nature is always quietly waiting to quickly reclaim any areas we leave behind.

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