Sigourney, Ashley and Sargent Streets have many homeowners who, over the years have had interesting "front yard" gardens, the ethnic mix and pride of place gives the area a mosiac unique to Hartford.
So, after reviewing a program in Buffalo, New York (they have hundreds of "Front Yard Gardens", see nationalgardenfestival.com). NINA, Knox Parks and Hartford Publications will work with neighbors and area institutions to spread the concept of small sustainable gardens all through the Sigourney Square neighborhood of Asylum Hill.
Starting this fall with two gardens at 33 and 49 Sargeant Street, as many as 20 additional gardens could be in bloom by next June. Residents in the area will be encouraged to work with landscape architects (who will donate their skills and time) to give the area even more interesting visual content. Right now, the homes up and down the neighborhood stand out as architectural treasures. Unique gardens will certainly bring attention to the care and investment of these Hartford residents.
This whole idea of using plantings to further interest in the city of Hartford has taken off in a big way. The Westend has many spectacular "backyards", one featured recently in Hartford magazine. And, of course, Elizabeth Park continues to amaze. Also, HART (Hartford Areas Rally Together) would like to highlight several streets in the Southend with this concept.
Certainly, many areas of other sections of the city, Burton Street in the Northend for example, already boast beautiful plantings. Some businesses, especially downtown, continue the "Hartford Blooms" idea from the successful ongoing flower pot concept of the mid 1990's. Knox Parks continues its tree program and community garden expansion along with growing flowers in it's greenhouses for the pot program.
The possiblities that can spin off all these efforts excites city officials, local corporations, nonprofits and many neighbors. tours and open houses, garden walks and showcases, contests and awards, all can be part of Hartford's new image campaign that will be in full swing by next year.
Right now, NINA leads the way with its two houses (and four in the works). Let's see it "grow" citywide!