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Scituate's Kennedy's Country Gardens finally can landscape 3A rotary

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  September 6, 2012 10:21 AM

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Years after first attempting to landscape the roundabout on Route 3A, Chris Kennedy from Kennedy's Country Gardens finally has the opportunity to do so.

With the help of State Representative Jim Cantwell, the town officially adopted the island a few months ago. With that in place, Kennedy can come in and rejuvenate the area, complete with a sign advertising his business in exchange for the work and plants.

At a selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday night, Kennedy outlined his plans along with DPW Director Al Bangert and Cantwell, giving a vision of what the spot would look like in a few months.

“We’re at the point now where the state has allowed us to do [landscape it], so Chris will come in and make it less of an eyesore,” Selectman Tony Vegnani said.

Although Kennedy will create landscaping for the space, while the town will move the lawn, there are still several restrictions.

“Basically, I don’t have a lot of wiggle room as far as height – they want it not to be too much taller than 24 inches. That’s hard because usually you have several layers of heights and sizes,” Kennedy said.

To cope with this, Kennedy said he will use some taller plants in the middle with grasses and medium-sized perennials. Plants may include ruby ribbons grass, blue star plants, and amsonia plants.

“I will also use some seasonal annuals where it can be a color from the time we plant them in the spring through fall. We could change colors from year to year, so it doesn’t stay the same,” Kennedy said.

The idea to spruce up the rotary started with Kennedy’s father, who after driving back and forth to Florida countless times, decided that the weed-strewn highways and ugly gateways into towns needed to be changed.

Five years later, Chris Kennedy is finally getting the chance to make an impact on a state road right down the street from his shop.

As a result, the lone Christmas tree anonymously placed in the center of the Route 3A roundabout for four months will be a thing of the past, replaced with colorful plants and a bit of advertising.

“It would be a win/win. My plan is to get people to spend money locally and go to Kennedy’s … so they can support local businesses,” Kennedy said, a necessity not only in this economy, but because the garden store is one of the few that is open year-round.

Most likely, planting will begin by the end of September, with a host of staff and volunteers.

“We should be able to get out there by the end of the month, get some compost out there and start planting … but the fall is a good time to plant, so we will try to take advantage of that,” Kennedy said.

Most likely it will take a year or two before the landscaping looks grown in and natural, as was the case when Kennedy’s replanted the islands around the train stops.

“Hopefully, down the road we can do a bit more with it. One of the ideas I had was to put a boat in there to use as a planter. Scituate has a lot of heritage when it comes to the ocean,'' Kennedy said.

"Some people suggested a mossing boat or a fishing boat, or a mast with a sail. But we’re taking baby steps because the state didn’t want to see anything permanent until [we showed we were committed]. So we’ll do some small things at first and [add to it] eventually."

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