Chestnut Street Garage Pollinator Garden

In May 2022, the West Chester Business Improvement District (BID) spearheaded a landscape project in partnership with the West Chester Green Team, to enhance the natural beauty of the Borough’s downtown business district. Behind the Chestnut Street Parking Garage along Prescott Alley is a beautiful new garden that focuses on the ecological benefits of native plants. This garden offers pedestrians a warm welcome to West Chester, habitat for our pollinators and a passive educational opportunity to those who pass by every day.

Designed by local resident and landscape architect Chris Pugliese and built with the help of over 20 volunteers, the 1,700 square foot garden was funded by the West Chester BID and planted with over 400 perennials, 10 trees and dozens of shrubs. One outcome of the planting plan was the creation of an almost instant “settled-in” garden, achieved by grouping species in swaths along the linear planting area, and using larger perennials in 1-gallon containers sourced from local nurseries including Clearview Nursery out of Souderton and North Creek Nurseries in Oxford PA.  Even though the garden is considered young (it’s still under one year old!), it looks like it was planted several seasons ago. Integrated into the design is a gravel walking path with a bamboo edging fence, allowing for the community to engage and view the garden up close. 

A major goal for the garden was to become certified by Penn State University as a “Pennsylvania Pollinator Friendly Garden.” Requirements for this certification include 1) provide food for pollinators; 2) provide water sources for pollinators; 3) provide shelter including a bee box; 4) remove invasive species; and 5) eliminate pesticide use. Certification is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

This is the first of many projects planned by the BID to help its members revitalize and green their alleyway properties. We invite you to come close and enjoy the garden through all your senses and take some time to enjoy this bit of habitat in the downtown.

The Chestnut Street Garage is in the middle of the above map from the BID, at the SW corner of E. Chestnut and N. Walnut. The garden lies along the southern edge of the garage, on Prescott Alley.

Photos, preliminary plan and plant list thanks to Chris Pugliese.

Download pdf here.

Trees, Shrubs and Vines
Clethra alnifolia “Hummingbird”Summersweet
Cercis canadensisEastern Redbud
Caylcanthus floridus “Hartlage Wine”Carolina Allspice
Cepholanthus occidentalis “Sugar Shack”Dwarf Buttonbush
Ilex glabra “Shamrock”Inkberry
Ilex verticilatta “Jim Dandy”Winterberry
Juniperis virginianaEastern Red Cedar
Aesculus pavia
Cornus florida
Perennials, Grasses
Phlox Jeanna
Aster “October Skies”Aster
Allium “Millenium”Ornamental Onion
Agastache ” Black Adder”Purple Haze Anise Hyssop
Amsonia Storm CloudAmsonia Storm Cloud
Baptisia australisBlue False Indigo
Eupatorium coelestinumBlue Mist Flower
Eupatorium dubium “Baby Joe”Baby Joe Joe-Pye Weed
Liatris KoboldGayfeather
Monarda Raspberry WineBee Balm
Monarda Jacob KlineBee Balm
Lobelia syphliticaBlue Lobelia
Penstemon dig. “Dark Towers”Beardtongue
Pycnanthemum muticumAppalachian Mountain Mint
Echinacea “Magnus”Coneflower
Phlox subulata Emerald BlueMountain Pink
Phlox subulata Emerald PinkMountain Pink
Panicum virg. “Northwind”Switchgrass
Rudbeckia deamiiBlack Eyed Susan
Solidago “Golden Fleece”Goldenrod
Solidago “Little Lemon”Goldenrod
Sorghastrum nut. “Indian Steel”Indian Grass
Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’Little Bluestem
Amsonia Blue Ice
Vernonia Iron ButterflyDwarf Iron weed
Packera aureusGolden Groundsel