Annual Greenery Basket Assembly Signals Start of Holiday Season in Greenwich

Mary Hull’s rescue dog, Oliver, who came from Adopt-A-Dog enjoyed keeping volunteers company in the greenhouse. Nov 21, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

On Thursday volunteers with Greenwich Green & Clean gathered up at Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses for the second of two days to create the 116 baskets that will soon grace downtown including the lamp posts along Greenwich Avenue.

Among the volunteers in the greenhouse was Keiko Kato, a gifted artist who was teaching other volunteers techniques of arranging bows, greenery and decorations. Ms. Kato, who has been volunteering with Green & Clean for over 20 years, is not atypical in her commitment to the annual project.

Every year experienced volunteers bring friends and this year the women traveled from towns including Irvington, Harrison and Darien.

“The circle is expanding,” said Kanako MacLennan, another longtime volunteer.  “Sam Bridge has always been very generous with their space. We also order all the materials through Sam Bridge.”

A pair of greenery baskets hanging from the lamp posts on Greenwich Avenue. Green & Clean also raised the funds to donate the charming lamp posts, which are technically owned by Eversource. Photo: Green & Clean Facebook page

The busy hands began last week when 28 people assembled to create 240 bows.

The goal is to have the baskets ready in time for Thanksgiving.

“I love Sam Bridge,” said Mary Hull, longtime director of Green & Clean. “Every year they donate two men and a truck in the early morning to put up the baskets. They are just amazing.”

“Every summer Sam Bridge creates and hangs the beautiful baskets of Begonias that you see on the lamp posts on Greenwich Avenue,” Hull added. “The Bridge family are one of the few local family businesses and they are so generous to the community.”

On Wednesday students from Pinnacle School and Spire School, both part of Greenwich Education Group, came to volunteer with Green & Clean.

“They seemed to really enjoy it,” said Ms. McLennan. “Both groups are learning Japanese culture in school and they said thank you and excuse me in Japanese.”

Etsuko Tulloch and Yoko Takata arranging some of the portions of greenery baskets that are recycled year to year. Nov 21, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

In what Ms McLennan described as the “engine” of the project, Etsuko Tulloch and Yoko Takata arranging some of the portions of greenery baskets that are recycled year to year. Nov 21, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Durina Karube, Kanako MacLennan and Chieko Dunne volunteering for Green & Clean at Sam Bridge. Nov 21, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Durina Karube, Kanako MacLennan and Chieko Dunne volunteering for Green & Clean at Sam Bridge. Nov 21, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Keiko Kato, a gifted artist, teaches other volunteers techniques of arranging bows, greenery and decorations. Nov 21, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager