The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Peterborough Parks: A Public/Private Partnership Talk

Tuesday I will be giving talk to to the Littleton, MA Garden Club on how the Peterborough Parks Committee creates and maintains the public gardens in Peterborough. I am excited to share my recipe for success, much of which I learned from Lynden B. Miller, who designs public gardens in New York City.

Here is part of the handout I will be giving the participants:

1) Design only what you can maintain at the highest level. Visit the best possible public and private gardens you can for inspiration. Make it gorgeous and keep it that way. Long-term maintenance is the key. Prepare soil properly from the onset.

2) Funding: start slow and show what you’ve done and grow. Keep trying to get grants even if you fail. Leverage success using volunteers to get public funding, public support and grants. Work toward a long-term endowment.

3) Mixed border works well for four-season beauty. Start with what it looks like in winter using hardscape and plants with winter interest (bark, berry, structure). Foliage is more important than flowers. Use the best and biggest plants you can get. Each park has its own mission statement or intention.

4) Set time and days so volunteers can incorporate time into their schedule. Have a specific plan for what needs to be accomplished each week.

5) Vandalism: Repair damage as soon as you see it!

“Make it gorgeous and they will come. Keep it that way and they will help.”
Lynden B. Miller

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Gardening Season Has Begun

The Parks volunteers had their first work day this week. We had a particularly tough New England winter: prolonged arctic temperatures and lots of snow. The soil on the north sides of the hedges at the Pavilion Garden was still frozen but were we able to do our first spring clean up. There was a minor amount of vole damage this year, probably due to the cold temperatures. It was good to remove the debris of dead leaves and create a clean slate for the emerging bulbs.

Susannah is raking the central path at the Pavilion Garden

Our newest volunteer, Kiki, had her first work day. She had great energy and has even promised to return next week.

Maude and Mollie are expert experienced gardeners. Maude has cleaned this garden for 15 seasons!


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