Cindy’s Garden is Getting a Makeover!
In 2010, a children’s garden was dedicated to the memory of Cindy O’Hanley, a cherished volunteer Nature Guide and leader of Teatown’s Little Tree Huggers and Knee Hi Nature groups. “Mrs. O” shared her love of nature and, especially, plants with many budding naturalists. By 2018, the wood used to build the raised beds and the bench were succumbing to rot. Two trees on the south side of the garden had grown tall enough to block the sun and the interpretive signs inside the garden retained Teatown’s former logo.
Earlier this year I submitted a proposal to upgrade Cindy’s Garden to a sensory garden. Sensory gardens have become popular as places to educate, meditate, and provide therapy. They are self-contained spaces that encourage interaction with plants and the animals and insects within that community by stimulating the five senses.
Initial work began this past spring. Many thanks to Teatown’s Stewardship team members Rebecca Policello and Mike Tierney, as well as volunteers Barry Poet and Haijing Qiu for all their help lifting and digging, and organizing volunteers.
The improvements made so far this year:
- The new raised beds are taller and are made from a recycled wood/concrete composite that is guaranteed for 25 years.
- Weed barrier has been laid on all pathways.
- Beds are filled with fresh soil and compost.
- The rusted perimeter fence has been replaced.
- The pathways are wider and will be covered in new gravel.
Next spring’s improvements will include:
- Four new benches for visitors’ comfort
- New interpretive signage
- New plantings
- A bird bath and windchimes
- Planters for the entrance
- A restored “mailbox” with a journal for visitors to leave notes on what they’ve experienced at Teatown
I’m thrilled to bring Cindy’s Sensory Garden to completion in time to welcome spring! Stop in, sniff the herbs, listen for bird song, write in the journal — it will be a calming and educational experience for all Teatown’s visitors.
About the Author
Visitor Services & Seasonal Gardener
Since 2016, Diane has been Teatown’s gardener and visitor’s services rep. She is also a Master Gardener Volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County and has a Certificate of Conservation Biology at Columbia University. When she’s not caring for Teatown’s gardens, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and sailing.