Tag Archives: Westport Community Garden

Photo Challenge #197

“06880” readers really know their onions.

I thought last Sunday’s Photo Challenge was a tough one. It was Franco Fellah’s drone image of the Community Garden at Long Lots Elementary School — but it looked more like (as one person commented) his mother’s kitchen linoleum. (Click here to see.)

There was no way anyone could tell it was an aerial shot.

Or so I thought.

Rich Stein, Jonathan McClure, Diane Bosch, A. Darcy Sledge all identified it correctly — and all within minutes of posting.

Seth Goltzer chimed in soon.

So I’ll try to stump you again. This one is not easy.

Then again, I said that last week.

(Photo/Miggs Burroughs)

If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

Unsung Hero #62

If you see a monarch butterfly around town — at the Community Garden next to Long Lots Elementary School, Wakeman Town Farm or anyplace else — you’ll marvel at its beauty and grace.

You should also thank Alice Ely.

Alice Ely

The Westporter is a garden coach. She gardens “with you, not for you,” her website says. “Whether you are just beginning, want to take your skills to the next level, branch out or troubleshoot, I’m happy to help.”

She is a master gardener and a compost maven. But she holds a special place in her heart for monarchs.

Alice’s inspiration, design and transplanting skills helped create the butterfly garden at the Community Garden, across from the compost area.

That garden is now a registered monarch way station. Filled with milkweed and pollinator plants, it is flourishing.

Inspired Community Garden members help plant, water and maintain it.

Alice was also a driving force behind the habitat at WTF, and 2 others on Cross Highway. Beyond providing monarchs with homes, she helps ensure them a pathway of habitats on their migratory routes.

There’s a lot more to that than just planting milkweed and “letting nature do its thing,” Alice notes. It’s painstaking work — but it pays off in gorgeous, environmentally crucial ways.

A monarch butterfly, at the Westport Community Garden.

Monarch butterflies — and the rest of nature that they nurture — can’t thank Alice Ely.

But “06880” readers can. Which is why she is this week’s Unsung Hero.

(Do you know an Unsung Hero? Send nominations to: dwoog@optonline.net)

Community Garden Visitor

Dorothy Rolla was at the Community Garden yesterday, when she spotted a hawk perched on the pergola.

(Photo/Lou Rolla)

(Photo/Lou Rolla)

She and her husband Lou admired its beauty and majesty. Meanwhile, the hawk was searching for nesting rodents, and perhaps waiting to enjoy some fine Westport produce.

Eagle Scout Project Comes To “Fruition”

Who wants to build a pergola at the Community Gardens?

That was the challenge offered to all Boy Scouts in town, by Ellen Greenberg.

Brendan Wisniewski was the first to respond. He wanted an Eagle Scout project that would benefit the community in a lasting way. This was perfect.

After meeting with Ellen, Lou Weinberg and Nick Mancini — all Community  Gardeners — Brendan conducted research online. He figured out the size, materials and structural integrity of the pergola, then created a detailed plan including time frame, help needed, cost and drawings.

Former Troop 39 scoutmaster Tony Giunta helped. Fellow scouts offered their assistance. Guided by Brendan’s father Mark (current Troop 39 scoutmaster) and his mother Jeanne (troop committee member), construction began.

Over 175 volunteer hours later, the pergola is finished. A few hurdles remain, but Brendan should soon join his brother John in the Eagle Scout ranks.

And Nick Mancini’s grape vines will have a home.

Brendan Wisniewski's pergola.

Brendan Wisniewski’s pergola.

(Hat tip to Johanna Rossi)


How Does Your Garden Grow?

Nothing is easy in Westport.

Dogs on the beach:  Controversy!

Lights on athletic fields:  Brouhaha!

And introducing now:  The Community Gardens War!

Tomorrow night (Monday), Garden members present a proposal to the Parks & Recreation Commission.  The plan:  expand the site, adjacent to Long Lots School.

Opposition is expected.  Some Long Lots parents worry about safety.  (Not from an errant hoe; more like garden-variety sex offenders.  Ho ho.)

Watch out for unwelcome guests!

Watch out for unwelcome guests!

Though unauthorized people are not allowed on school property when school is in session, the rule is somewhat relaxed for Community Gardeners:  If they want to till their plots during school hours, they must get a special Parks & Rec pass.  (After, of course, passing a background check.)

Most gardeners wait until school is out — and prime gardening season is summer, anyway — but what the hay hey.

Other concerns involve competition for parking spots at the site (gardeners vs. teachers and parents).   There are very few gardeners during the day (see above), so even with the expansion that might not be a major issue.

It could be worse:  Can you imagine the battles between spade-wielding Subaru drivers and iPhone-texting seniors and juniors if the Community Gardens were at Staples?

It's amazing how ugly a garden can be.

It's amazing how ugly a garden can be.

Some people object to the aesthetics of the garden itself.  It was built by the gardeners themselves.  It is not a designer-garden, as in many Westport backyards.

But again, things could be worse.  This is a garden, people — not the Quonset hut  squatting a quarter mile away off North Maple.

The action begins at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall.  Let’s hope it stays civil.  The last thing we need is one side throwing tomatoes at the other.