Chester flowers make summer official

Chester Townscape members social-distanced while planting annuals at the Brookside Cemetery wall after the spring daffodil display
Chester Townscape members social-distanced while planting annuals at the Brookside Cemetery wall after the spring daffodil display. Photo provided

CHESTER, Vt. – Flowers are blooming in gray planters, whiskey barrels, and bridge boxes all over Chester. In spite of uncooperative weather and the COVID-19 pandemic, Chester Townscape was once again able to deliver flowers that bring beauty to Chester – all while adhering to social distancing and other precautions. The summer display – in full bloom now – continues the seasonal enhancements that Chester Townscape brings to the town.

Spring brought a successful tree and shrub fundraiser that encouraged many residents in Chester and well beyond to purchase a special tree or shrub to enhance their properties – all at prices below regular retail but with a small built-in donation to help fund CT’s beautification projects. This year’s offerings were the Pagoda Dogwood, Winterberry, Aronia, and Little Quick Fire Hydrangea – all known for being hardy in Vermont and providing beauty and multi-seasonal interest. Springtime in Chester also featured the fabulous display of daffodils along the Brookside Cemetery wall in the heart of town.

Next came the annual orders for pots planted with an array of beautiful flowers and offered for sale to businesses and private homeowners. Using space provided at Sunshine Acres Nursery, Chester Townscape volunteers planted those private pots, as well as the public pots, barrels, and bridge boxes positioned at public places, bridges, and intersections around town.

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One of six bridge boxes on Veteran’s Bridge on Route 103N in Chester. All boxes still sport small American flags at either end that were installed for Independence Day. Photo provided

The gardens CT had designed and planted last year at the Information Booth and Village Green gazebo are now well established and brightening at least three seasons of the year. In addition, the fence in front of the Chester-Andover Family Center was given a makeover, and the other garden areas at the entrance were weeded and mulched. Annuals were planted at the Brookside Cemetery wall to continue the flowering display after daffodils subsided.

A growing number of volunteers from the public are making the summer planter project possible. Thanks go to Ben Whalen and his family for delivery assistance; to the Chester Fire Department for watering the pots after delivery; to returning and new watering recruits – Deb Aldrich, Jill Barger, Leigh Dakin, Diedra Doran, Colleen Garvey, Bev Groshens, Barbara Haas, Jean Hancock, Jim Houghton, Frank and Julie Kelley, Matt McCarthy, Melanie McGuirk, Kathy Smith, Diane Ulbrich, Barbara Windham, and Sarah Yake; as well as to CT member Evan Parks for installing an automatic watering system along the Chester-Andover Family Center fence garden. These volunteers are helping CT regulars in the annual, monumental watering task, which is especially important during this very dry summer. The physical and financial help of all who support CT’s flower and garden projects and fundraisers makes the beautification of Chester possible! For additional information about Chester Townscape, please contact www.chestervt.gov/chester-townscape.html.

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