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 canadensis||Eastern Redbud|
|Caylcanthus floridus “Hartlage Wine”||Carolina Allspice|
|Cepholanthus occidentalis “Sugar Shack”||Dwarf Buttonbush|
|Ilex glabra “Shamrock”||Inkberry|
|Ilex verticilatta “Jim Dandy”||Winterberry|
|Juniperis virginiana||Eastern Red Cedar|
|Aster “October Skies”||Aster|
|Allium “Millenium”||Ornamental Onion|
|Agastache ” Black Adder”||Purple Haze Anise Hyssop|
|Amsonia Storm Cloud||Amsonia Storm Cloud|
|Baptisia australis||Blue False Indigo|
|Eupatorium coelestinum||Blue Mist Flower|
|Eupatorium dubium “Baby Joe”||Baby Joe Joe-Pye Weed|
|Monarda Raspberry Wine||Bee Balm|
|Monarda Jacob Kline||Bee Balm|
|Lobelia syphlitica||Blue Lobelia|
|Penstemon dig. “Dark Towers”||Beardtongue|
|Pycnanthemum muticum||Appalachian Mountain Mint|
|Phlox subulata Emerald Blue||Mountain Pink|
|Phlox subulata Emerald Pink||Mountain Pink|
|Panicum virg. “Northwind”||Switchgrass|
|Rudbeckia deamii||Black 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 Butterfly||Dwarf Iron weed|
|Packera aureus||Golden Groundsel|