public space in an area neighborhood

Cherries in the Kenwood neighborhood

It is nice to drive and see the spaces that are wonderfully maintained by either neighborhood gardeners or even the jurisdictions themselves. Who does the maintenance of these public spaces is not as important as that it is being done and we the public get to enjoy it. In neighborhoods around our area early builders or even neighborhood groups planted thousands of Cherries along our suburban roads, many in small neighborhood communities. The primary tree planted has been the Yoshino Cherry emulating the gifted Cherries on the Tidal Basin in our nation’s Capital. There is obvious pride in these communities in their Cherries. Many have covenants mandating maintenance of these trees and, when removed, their replacement with like trees. The effect is ethereal for a too short period in early Spring.

public space along Reno Road, NW

Street planting along Reno Road, NW

There is the occasional small plot of land cut off due to road configuration that becomes public space due to its’ disconnection from any nearby home lots. My guess is neighbors cherish these open spaces, regardless of their small size, and band together to plant and maintain them. It gives them some much needed gardening space and a chance to enhance their neighborhood in so many different ways. Some are areas of reflection which may include a seating area or just a small walking path. Others are just a planted garden space providing neighborhood beauty and enhancing everyone’s quality of life. Regardless of the reason it also increase home values in the immediate neighborhood as it increase the “curb appeal” of the neighborhood. 

In some cases such as the bulb plantings by the Maryland State Highway Administration along our major highways, it is really right in our faces as we speed by. Some of these plantings look as if they may contain better than 5,000 Narcissus bulbs and the affect is both soothing and entertaining as we pass by. Large flowing sweeps of colors along our interstates provide us poor commuters a splash of brilliance in our otherwise dull commutes. Just spectacular!

Remember to: clean your gutters as tree flower drop is coming to an end. Deadhead and fertilize your bulbs for best flowering for next year. Do not band the foliage but do cut it off at the first sign of browning or yellowing. This indicates the plant is in the first stages of sloughing its’ leaves so it is ok to provide an assist. If you haven’t done so, prepare your garden for vegetables and remember, its’ pretty nice to stick the occasional vegetable plant in the landscape where it can get five to six hours of sun and provide your family with some fresh Summer produce.