Pitchforks (and hydrant wrenches) aloft!

Flower Power! We are neighbors who are interested in bringing some botanical beauty to the bike-lane
tree pits so we have persuaded the city to allow us to garden there unimpeded. Anyone is welcome to
join at any level of involvement. There are no dues and no formal meetings; Just a desire to keep
Chelsea tree-lined and flower-filled. Join us!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Pre-Planting Meeting Productive

This past Sunday afternoon, the first day of Spring of course, about 15 members of the Chelsea Garden Club met to sort out the caretaking assignments and duties of the Eighth and Ninth Avenue tree pits from 17th Street to 23rd Street.

We've had a tremendous response to our call for pit volunteers. Almost all of the blocks have been claimed. Seventeenth Street on both avenues still needs gardeners. And several pits above 23rd are also spoken for, so to speak. If you would like to participate in any that strike your fancy, email me and I will put you in touch with others on the same spot or sign you up for your own spot. Also look for the sign up link on this blog to see what's still available.

It was fantastic meeting my fellow volunteers and urban gardeners in person and discussing all our issues and plans. It's a passionate bunch!

CGC member Phyllis Waisman, who attended a meeting last week hosted by Sen. Tom Duane's office, has developed a list of guidelines that should help as we plan our pits. I will post that as a separate link next week. It seems that we are the test case for other neighborhoods as DOT bicycle lanes and their concrete and mulch offspring extend their routes North.

Consequently, there are several important things to keep in mind:

*Please, no plants higher than two feet or that will obstruct the view of traffic.
*Don't destroy or discard the city plants currently in the pit.
*No fences, stones, containers or anything that could pose a hazard to pedestrians. (I will talk about other dog preventives in a later post.)
*Those who are caring for their particular pits should pay for their own materials. At this point we would prefer our efforts to be self sufficient. So no grants and no solicitations of local businesses. We can revisit the issue later on if everyone disagrees. In the meantime, those within the group will happily share, plant and tool-wise.
*The design and look of your garden is up to you but please keep away from plants that will need too much water or will hurt the tree. Nothing dangerous or poisonous, obviously.

That said, we have a wealth of expert gardeners in the group including a landscape designer who have offered to help us in procuring plants at good prices. I will let you know when he and others will be taking orders.

Paul Bodden mentioned that the Conservancy in Battery Park is having a plant sale. Also I will post a separate list of plants that have thrived in several pits on Ninth Avenue in case you would like to incorporate them into your own garden. See next post for details on both.

I will be at the pit on 20th Street and 9th Avenue early most weekend mornings. If you are nearby, come over and say hi.
Flower Power!

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