A Garden Goes To Waste

Dan Keayes spends 8 hours a day supervising the town’s Bayberry Lane yard waste site.  He lets very little of his time — or whatever Westporters throw in the brush pile — got to, um, waste.

Over the past few years, Dan has built a handsome garden on a formerly forlorn dirt pile.  Filled with sea grass, boxwoods — even a fig tree — it wraps around the entire building, behind the Westport-Weston Health District.  Every living thing — plus wood chips and a birdhouse — was salvaged from nearby piles.

Plenty of stuff gets tossed there that shouldn’t.  Once, every morning for a week, Dan found rocks (illegal to dump).  He simply incorporated them into his creation.  “If life gives you rocks, make a rock garden,” he philosophizes.

Dan Keayes stands near a small part of his creation.

Dan Keayes stands near a small part of his creation.

The Monroe resident — a yard waste attendant for 15 years, at North Compo and North Avenue prior to his present location — says the garden is now self-maintaining.  He trims a bit, and weeds here and there.  But the garden takes care of itself.

Dan learns about gardening as he goes.  Martha Stewart’s former landscaper has been a big help, teaching Dan about plants he doesn’t know.

Dan is unsure what his supervisors think.  “I don’t know if anyone in charge knows what I do,” he laughs.

They may not.  But anyone dumping brush does.

And they love it.

5 responses to “A Garden Goes To Waste

  1. what a special person!

  2. Thanks for highlighting Dan Keayes. Going to the brush dump is a pleasure; always an opportunity to see what new area he is nurturing.

  3. Nancy Stewart

    Such a wonderful guy! He has an amazing memory also. Whether it’s been 2 weeks or 2 years he remembers me. Always helpful.

  4. Linda Gramatky Smith

    I’m going to go to the waste site just to see what this special person, Dan, has created! The mulch there is wonderful and now I will look at his creative garden. Thanks, Dan Woog, for highlighting such wonderful treasures in Westport.

  5. Dan is a great guy, and the chips are free, and great top soil can be found beneath the chips. come and get it!