If you haven’t been to Gaiety Hollow in the past week, you might not recognize the Flower Garden!
Last Wednesday evening, Dave Hiser brought his youth group from the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South Salem to Gaiety Hollow. Racing against the setting sun, 25 energetic youth and 5 adult supervisors pulled up the brick paths, scraped off sand and mud, and stacked the bricks on pallets. The north path made of crumbling pavers and concrete was demolished with a sledgehammer and is heading to the landfill.
They finished the evening with zucchini bread, long drinks of cold water, and a group photo on the lawn.
Thanks to these wonderful volunteers, the brick walks in the Flower Garden are almost ready for a make-over.
On Friday, our garden volunteers joined the efforts. Undeterred by rain, they cleaned up rubble, knocked out edging bricks, discovered more bricks hidden under an old path, and smoothed paths for walking. Pruning the boxwood away from the bricks elicited excitement from some, groans from others, and lots of jokes.
There are still a few preparations to be done before our contractors come in–removing the short path going to the shed, taking out the edges of the paths–but we should be ready by early next week. The historic bricks are being saved so that masons can reuse them in the paths and retain the feeling of charm so integral to the gardens.
When this construction is complete, the Flower Garden should look as Edith and Elizabeth intended it. Smooth paths. Clean edges in straight lines. No more pooling water. The pedestal and putto as the central focal point. Grass in the north path. Grass and a brick path to the Pergola. The geometry and bones that Edith and Elizabeth so purposefully laid out will be restored.
Words of caution: If you are visiting the garden as a volunteer or for a meeting during October, please approach Gaiety Hollow from Mission Street to avoid walking through the construction zone in the back gardens and to avoid interrupting our contractors when they are onsite. We want all of our visitors to be safe while at Gaiety Hollow. Thank you!