Massive Bulb Planting Effort at Cos Cob’s Chestnut Allée Will Pay Dividends in Spring

On Wednesday, which was an unseasonably mild day, more like April than November, dozens of volunteers from Greenwich Green & Clean and local garden clubs planted thousands of bulbs in the grassy island at the foot of Stanwich Rd at East Putnam Ave, soon to be renamed “Chestnut Allée.”

Peggy McDermott of Green Fingers Garden Club, Ashley Cole, First Selectman Fred Camillo, Berrin Snyder and Colette Rogers. Nov 4, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Berrin Snyder, who organized several garden club members to volunteer planting spring flowering bulbs in Cos Cob. Nov 4, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager

Workers from the Town’s Dept of Public Works used their equipment to dig holes into which volunteers placed crocuses and hyacinths.

“Crocus Hill” at the intersection of Maple and East Putnam Ave in April. Photo: Leslie Yager

“If we’re going to keep our prominent position as one of the most desirable communities in America, beauty is important,” said Ashley Cole, a member of both the Town’s Greenscape Committee and Sustainability Committee.

“A huge thank you to the volunteers and all the town departments who came together to make this happen,” said Alice Ruf, adding that in the spring the field of crocuses will dovetail nicely with “Crocus Hill” at the intersection of Maple Ave and East Putnam Ave.

Dozens of volunteers planted spring flowering bulbs in the “Chestnut “Allée” on Nov 4, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager

“The effort to support the beautification of the Post Road has the support of the Selectmen, the Greenwich Tree Conservancy, Parks & Rec and all the garden clubs,” said Hortulus member Kathryn Payne, adding that her group is 90 years old and is one of the three Garden Club of American Clubs on Town.

Shelby Saer, who is an auxiliary member of Hortulus, said she enjoyed the educational aspect of the organization.

“Yesterday we watched a video from our president who showed us how to take our dahlia tubers and put them to bed for the winter,” Saer said. “Anyone can become a gardener. We learn from the masters.”

In addition to educating members about gardening, the group does outreach to places like the Nathaniel Witherell and The Mews.

Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo said he hoped the Chestnut Allée project would be the first of many public-private partnerships to beautify the town.

“Whether it’s buildings, or parkland, or islands – we’re looking for this type of partnership and spirit,” he added. “It’s great to see dozens of citizens working side-by-side with our great employees of DPW. Next spring you’ll see a very different island here.”

Camillo said a few weeks ago the Town got the project started by planting bulbs on the western portion of the island.

In sum, he said about 10,000 bulbs would be planted.

“I hope that not only will newcomers coming to Town via Exit 4 on I95 be impressed with the beauty of Greenwich, but that residents will enjoy the Chestnut Allée as well,” Camillo added.

The grassy island along Putnam Ave in Cos Cob where the Greenscapes Committee hopes to create a Chestnut Allée. Sept. 7, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
The grassy island in Cos Cob along Putnam Ave where the Greenscapes Committee hopes to create a Chestnut Allée. Sept. 7, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager

“Greenwich’s beauty enhances our lives and supports our property values, which are very much tied to the fact that we have space and trees,” she added. “It’s all hand-in-hand about keeping the Town sustainable, beautiful, livable and a pleasure to be in.”

The Chestnut Allée project is the first of six projects that stretch between Greenwich’s borders with Port Chester and Stamford. The hope is to move and improve the bus stop, improve the existing sidewalk, and, in the long-term, reclaim the paved area at the north end of the island.

Other locations to be targeted for beautification include the gateway to Greenwich in Byram by Carvel, the grassy triangle by the car dealerships on West Putnam Ave, and the grassy islands at Exit 5 near Riverside Commons.

See also:

P&Z Watch: Chestnut Island Discussion Focuses on Responsibility for Maintenance

Sept 15, 2020

Greenscape Committee Seeks Public Comment on Proposed “Chestnut Island” in Cos Cob

Sept 7, 2020

Greenwich Green & Clean’s Kanako MacLennan and Alice Ruf were busy planting bulbs in “Chestnut Allée” in Cos Cob on Wednesday, Nov 4, 2020 Photo: Lesie Yager
Ashley Cole and Shelby Saer. Nov 4, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Greenwich Director of Environmental Affairs Pat Sesto joined the bulb planting effort. Nov 4, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Rinda Bishop, Kathryn Payne, Bridget Bucknall, Shelby Saer and Trina Horine take a break from planting thousands of bulbs in the Chestnut Allée. Nov 4, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Thousands of spring flowering bulbs were planted by volunteers on Nov 4, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Peggy McDermott and Colette Rogers planting bulbs in the “Chestnut Allée,” Nov 4, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager