Sprucing up a Memorial

On the street outside our offices we have a parking meter stand with a lovely shade tree and one of many memorials to former city residents that are common around town. Given that there are parking spots on the street adjacent to these small memorial gardens/parking meter stands, these gardens take their share of abuse from people walking over them to get from their parked car to the street. When trying to figure out one of the many varying parking meter designs we have in town, people stand on the garden, put their bags (and children) right on top of any poor plant. Not many plants have been able to survive such wear and tear.

We’ve tried many different plantings in the six years we’ve been in our office space. None have survived the foot and trash traffic. Plants like oceans do not like cigarette butts and chewing gum it seems. We contemplated putting a small fence around the garden. We declined due to health and safety – we don’t want anyone falling over it. Also for practical reasons – the public and city officials need to access the very popular parking meters.

This is the neighboring memorial garden bed complete with cigarette butts and missing the usual collection of broken glass, trash, and dog poop. A sad memorial to a former City Mayor whose plaque occupies this bed.

This plaque implies the honoree is a former City Mayor although I could not find any information online. How sad to see the state this small garden is in.

So, here is our latest, and sadly, final attempt to plant a pleasant garden befitting the citizen honored by the memorial plaque. If this one does not work, then we give up – it’s costing too much money and frustrated days for us to bear!

We opted for a simple English Boxwood hedge around the edges of the garden bed. We shall keep the hedge trimmed to 3 feet and a whimsical wave pattern sculpted on the top of the hedge once it’s grown in. Either side of the tree in the center of the bed we planted two Globe Arborvitae. We’ll keep these trained and trimmed into a topiary form around 4 feet high. Either end of the garden bed we curved the English Boxwoods in around the parking meter on the west side, and for symmetry the same on the east side. We  planted some mint (how English) and phlox – both plants that have been able to withstand foot traffic over the years. We need to maintain ease of access to the parking meter and a good sight line from sidewalk to street and back again! Our particular garden bed has a memorial to a Mr. W. Bruce Tappan who originated in Maryland and lived for many years on Christian Street in downtown Rehoboth Beach. We gave Mr. Tappan’s memorial stone a buff up and removed the chewing gum that had been ‘left’ on his stone. We’ve already removed several cigarette butts since.

Our memorial garden bed/parking meter stand viewed west to east.

Our memorial garden bed/parking meter stand viewed east to west.

Our memorial garden is dedicated to the late Mr. W.Bruce Tappan.