garden pg 1 5-18-23

caption, page 2:

Madlyn Smith and daughter Eleanor, 2, plant in Union Square in memory of Robin Smith, her husband Bryan's mother. Linda Lemmon photo.

Garden revivals
By Linda Lemmon
Town Crier Editor
PUTNAM — With new partnerships blossoming Putnam’s gardens — once static — will begin to bloom.
The pocket parks and small parks around Union Square, South Main Street and Providence Street needed a boost.
The town, including the Parks and Recreation Department, and the Quiet Corner Garden Club joined up. From that groups are “adopting” gardens. Expertise and funding joined together, too.
Elaine Turner, president of the garden club, said she approached former Economic and Community Development director Delpha Very last year about joining forces to revive the gardens. “We were looking to create a prototype of a city garden,” she said.
Very’s successor, Carly DeLuca said the beautification efforts started years ago with the Putnam Business Association and town’s Beautification Day.
This past budget season $15,000 was added to the budget under Parks and Recreation to cover Beautification expenses.
One of the first things purchases was a watering tank for easy access to watering the plants. “This is an effort to maintain our already existing plantings, before installing more. Sometimes those not-so-glamorous or ‘beautiful’ purchases are the most necessary,” DeLuca said. The crew from Parks and Recreation has been “an immense help” during this process, she added.
DeLuca and Turner inventoried every park and noted the conditions and what would be needed to bring them back for the season. They noted the sunlight, what was dead, what might be in the ground and a maintenance plan. Turner said the garden club hooked the town up with a plant wholesaler that gave the town half price for the plants.
“Something that seemed clear was the need to organize our pocket parks. I made an inventory of every pocket park and an ‘adoptee’ application. To continue regular maintenance, I wanted all existing adoptees to sign a maintenance agreement with the town and in return we will help supply them with new plantings, regular watering, mulch, and a new dedication plaque. The cost of the plaques will be from the Economic & Community Development Trust Fund,” DeLuca said.
The first group is the Union Square section. They’ve been adopted by Northeast Opportunities for Wellness, Northeast Women and Girls Fund, 85 Main Restaurant, and a memorial garden in dedication to Robin M. Smith. The plaques for these gardens went in recently. “This is just the first stop on a long road to beautification,” DeLuca said.
Turner said a partnership of the garden club, the town and the Putnam Business Association will get to work on the municipal parking lot garden (across from Uptown Sandwiches) May 20. Turner said the garden club will maintain this garden as Memorial Garden. PBA members will be helping plant as their philanthropic project for spring. And look for an artistic surprise.
The garden at the corner of Marshall and Providence streets was adopted by the Woman’s Board of Day Kimball long ago.
Turner said the approach to revitalizing the gardens includes looks at structure and seasonality. The idea is to use plants that will bloom at different times, “hard soft, hard soft” repeat patterns and adding hits of color. Different heights, different blooming seasons are key, Turner said.
DeLuca said: “I know I am giddy to see what the Garden Club produces. We have joked this is the prototype for how our pocket parks should look! Full of color, sizes, different bloom times, art, everything! Along with continuous efforts to secure a grant from streetscape improvements to Providence Street, this project fits well into the strategic plan of Economic and Community Development.”


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