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Kerry Ann with Friends' members Kerry Ann Mendez in crescent garden Patricia Sabbey, Kerry Ann Mendez, Joanne Hayes-Rines

The crescent garden is gorgeous, as is the rose garden. Your work and what you organize in the park is such a blessing to so many. Very inspirational. Kerry Ann Mendez

Kerry Ann Mendez, a nationally known, award winning garden educator, book author, and design consultant recently visited Christopher Columbus Park and gave a presentation at the North End Branch Library. This visit was jointly funded by the Friends of Christopher Columbus Park and the Friends of the North End Library. Both groups deeply appreciate all the support received from North End businesses and individuals and have as a goal providing rich and varied experiences to the community.

During her visit to the park Kerry Ann visited the crescent garden near the Christopher Columbus statue. She did a walk around the garden describing in detail the types of plants used and their importance to the composition as a whole. She made a couple of planting suggestions and overall was very enthusiastic about the design and the use of multiseasonal color.

She also consulted about the circle area near the hotel entrance. For many years FOCCP planned a major upgrade to this area but issues with sink holes and the type of subsurface materials have put these plans on indefinite hold.

Kerry took one look at the desiccated area and came up with a garden design using a variety of drought tolerant plantings. FOCCP will present these ideas to the Parks Department and hopes to join with them in creating a colorful circle garden.

Kerry Ann, a vibrant personality with an in depth knowledge of perennial gardening, then went to the library and gave a colorful PowerPoint presentation. She talked of her own background in developing extensive, labor intensive gardens and then coming to the realization that less is better in terms of reduced work and increased time for enjoyment. She described ways to use groupings of just a few types of plants to achieve a low maintenance garden and to avoid ‘gumdrop’ gardening as she described it.

She also touched upon container gardening which is of high interest to urban dwellers. The gardening industry recognizes the future of gardening in small spaces for the millennial and the baby boomer generations alike. A variety of self-watering containers and solar lit containers are available. Plant breeders are developing smaller versions of larger plants to address the direction the market is taking.

Both FOCCP and FONEL were delighted with Kerry Ann’s visit. Her compliments about our park and about the investment people have in our neighborhood were certainly well received!

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