Sunday, May 28, 2006

hummingbird feeder : Spiffing up Wayland with beautiful garden

Thursday, May 25, 2006

As of this writing, anyway, the steady rains became somewhat intermittent. During one of the lulls - and born of an optimism of surviving yet another New England winter - I joined the hordes of shoppers at the various nurseries, garden centers and home improvement outlets in the area searching for plants, pots, hanging ornaments and other accoutrements to bring that long-awaited color to my surroundings.

On a whim, I even ran off to Drumlin Farm to see if they had a hummingbird feeder that I could attach to my kitchen window. They did, and I bought and installed it.

This frenzy of spiffing up reminds me that the town owes a great debt of gratitude to the all-volunteer Wayland Beautification Committee, which will likewise be springing into action as the sun emerges and the temperatures climb.

The Wayland Beautification Committee was founded in 1998 with just one goal in mind - to beautify highly visible areas of the town with garden spaces and trees.

Among their major projects to date have been landscaping and plantings on either side of the entrance to the landfill; improvements at both the front and the rear of the Town Building; gardens on many of the islands in the town's roads, including those at Five Paths and Hooker's Green; and the planting of nearly 50 shade and ornamental trees at schools, playing fields and other highly visible sites.

During the summer, they also place flower-filled barrels around town - at the entrance to the Route 20 shopping area, for example, and at the Cochituate Ball Field and Hannah Williams Park, among others.

The committee is supported by town funds as well as donations. This year's Town Meeting, in fact, approved funding for a drought-tolerant garden at the landfill. Last year, the committee weeded and mulched the area and defined a path with stepping stones. This year, shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses are to go in. Residents will be invited to walk through the garden and get ideas of their own. Educational materials will also be provided. The committee hopes that the garden will encourage responsible use of water resources.

Town Meeting also approved funding for the design and installation of a garden space at the road island across from Mel's and the Villa Restaurant. The area is currently the site of a World War II memorial and a sign announcing entrance to the Village of Cochituate, as well as overgrown shrubs, trees and assorted plantings.

In addition, the committee sponsors the Keep Wayland Tidy Campaign, which was formed in response to the problem of litter in town. This initiative encourages residents to be aware of litter in public places, to develop strategies to lessen the incidence and effects of litter, and to promote programs to create and maintain a litter-free community.

Membership in the Wayland Beautification Committee is by participation. Any resident with an interest in joining is invited to attend informal planning meetings held on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 8 a.m. in the Town Building.

Currently, an exhibit in the ArtSpace of the Town Building showcases the work of this very dedicated group. The show includes "before" and "after" photos of many of their projects, plans for the garden at the landfill - which look charming - and educational materials about drought-resistant and other plants.

The exhibit, sponsored by the Wayland Cultural Council, is free and open to the public during regular Town Building hours through the end of June.

Susan L. Wagner is the features reporter for The Wayland Town Crier. She can be reached at ""


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