Monday, June 13, 2011

Greening the Mean Streets of Worcester: Turtle Boy Urban Gardeners

You might recall our efforts last year to weed Worcester's iconic Turtle Boy statue. With hip high weeds, it was an eyesore and an embarrassment and a group of us took it upon ourselves to spruce it up.

We decided to take our gardening efforts one step further this year and not only weed, but also plant some new plants and take the garden up a notch to hopefully become an attractive landmark.

First up - a color scheme. The logical step was to start with the blue green color of the statue and the rosy orange tone of the base. This was good as these two colors are complimentary and opposite each other on the color wheel, but we needed to expand the palette a bit. So we widened it to include the colors between red-violet to red-orange and on the flip side of the wheel we had the range between yellow-green to blue-green.

We went heavy on the shrubs, as the Turtle Boy garden needed some structure and some year round interest. Plus, we really wanted to plan for a low maintenance garden that will allow us to take on other projects without this one looking neglected.

I am so in love with the blue spruces! They totally nail the color of the statue!

The city helped us out with a load of compost. One of the cool things Worcester does is allow residents to rake the leaves from their yards into the street in the fall. They are then swept up and composted and that compost is free to all residents, even the resident Turtle Boy!

We learned last year that the grassy foliage of the day lilies was a great place to stash drug paraphernalia so they had to go. They were recycled by one of our gardeners. We did keep most everything else that was already there - hostas, astilbe, and a couple of spirea.

Kids like dirt!

Some amazing turtle candies found their way to us! I have no idea who the folks were who brought the awesome chocolates, but thanks!!!

One of our gardeners is definitely a turtle lover!

Our efforts have not gone unnoticed and we have gone from being a guerrilla gardening group to something more official sounding - Turtle Boy Urban Gardeners, also less formally as TBUG.

We have some ideas of how this group might evolve to make a difference in our city, but first we need to address how to deal with the financial aspects of fundraising and non-profits. What we have is a great group of volunteers who are willing to step up. We have a zillion ideas for fundraising. What we don't have is a legit way of dealing with the funds so we are looking to form alliances to get help with that.

Turtle Boy, looking good! Here's hoping that everything takes. ;-)

Just to the right of the Turtle Boy statue was this monument to those who served in the Southwest Asia War. A couple of gardeners saw it looking kind of sad, and took it upon themselves to jump right in and get some plants in there.

And for those who stuck it out to the end, there was the reward of lunch donated by the Theatre Cafe around the block from our fair statue. Thanks Jeanette!

For those of you who would like to learn more about Turtle Boy and keep up with the Turtle Boy Urban Gardeners, he has a website!


Tracy Novick said...

Went by there last week (in the rain): it looks great! Well done!

Sprout said...

Thanks Tracy! We have a modest 5 year plan for TBUG if we can work out that financial stuff...


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