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Boston’s Big Dig is finally complete, but its downtown parks continue to develop, thanks to the stewardship of the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. This spring, I had the privilege of helping the Conservancy tune up a landscape that I had originally designed in 1998.

The Greenway’s Urban Arboretum is a block-long passageway between two highway ramps.  To mark its south end, I had laid out a compact grove of trees which would offer pedestrians a moment of shade and serenity. In the years after construction, however, some of the grove’s trees began to fail, taking with them the vision of a green refuge.

So when the  Conservancy called me this spring, I jumped at the opportunity to help set things right.

The new design builds on what’s worked and replaces what hasn’t.  All of the original Baldcypress trees are thriving, so the design adds six more, filling the circle and framing the path. Under the trees, a ground layer of ferns, woodland perennials, and native groundcovers will evoke the textures and dappled greens of a forest.

Work began in June with the planting of the ground layer and the installation of drip irrigation. We’ll be back in the fall to plant the new Baldcypress trees.

More on the Urban Arboretum, here.


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