By Leslie Yager
The Woman’s Club of Greenwich welcomed Patty Sechi of Greenwich Community Gardens for a club house talk on Thursday.
Following an in-house talk on flowers and a little healthy competition, a delightful lunch of homemade soup and mouthwatering tea sandwiches, Sechi gave an overview of Armstrong Court Community Gardens, the new Bible Street Community Gardens and some inspirational words on sustainability.
Sechi said it all started when she learned there had been a garden on the grounds of Armstrong Court from the 1960s to the 1980s. Sometime thereafter, however, the gardens went fallow. That said, there was a core group of persistent gardeners at the low income housing complex, and Sechi said to honor them they’re referred to as “Legacy Gardeners.”
The community organic gardens at Armstrong Court have benefited from the efforts of many individuals and groups in Town. Whole Foods purchased all the organic soil for the endeavor. Volunteers painted an elaborate garden-themed mural on the side of one of the massive apartment buildings. Some gardeners till the soil for the explicit purpose of growing vegetables to donate to Neighbor-to-Neighbor in the “Neighborly Harvest Program.”
Sechi describes the community gardens as a constant classroom where Master Gardeners teach classes and give demonstrations. She said that unlikely friendships have formed from gardeners representing all corners of Town and that the gardening community gather under the pergola to enjoy dinners from the on-site pizza oven.
A new feature of the gardens will be “universal access beds.” Sechi said that next week there are plans to construct what are essentially raised beds at an adequate height for someone in a wheelchair or walker to till.
Beyond vegetables and flowers, Sechi said the benefits of the community gardens multiply exponentially. In addition to unlikely friendships, she said that every year the Town’s Youth Conservation Group assist on the upkeep of the gardens, pulling vines and weeds. Also, the three to five-year old’s at the Head Start preschool on site at Armstrong Court enjoy the the gardens.
“Their sense of wonder is amazing,” Sechi said of the preschoolers, adding that the site features a butterfly garden the children love.
Sechi is particularly excited about the new Bible Street Community Gardens, which she reports are almost fully subscribed and will open officially at the end of the month.