The residents of Lyme have been eagerly watching the renovation of their town hall and the building of the new library over the last year; however, during the excitement of construction, the Lyme Garden Club has been quietly working on an often overlooked finishing touch for any building project, the landscaping. They have been coordinating with town groups, businesses, and individuals, but the landscaping plans have only recently been made public.
The landscaping project began a little over a year ago when Steve Mattson, Lyme Selectman and Building Committee member, approached the Lyme Garden Club with a request for help – the project budget only allowed for grading and seeding the site. The club members quickly agreed to take on the project, and they formed a committee to lead the effort.
One of the first steps the committee took was to hire Lyme resident and landscape architect, Sarah McCracken. McCracken has broad domestic and international experience. Locally, she has worked with numerous homeowners and at St. Ann’s Church in Old Lyme and the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. “Sarah has done an amazing job,” said committee chair, Mary Ann Kistner. “We could never pay her enough for all the work she has put into the project.”
The final design is simple, yet elegant, and fits into the Lyme aesthetic. It covers the landscaping of both buildings as well as the development of the new town green that will be created when the old library is demolished. Making use of grasses that don’t have to be mowed and hardy plants, the grounds will be easy to maintain and, by necessity, deer resistant. The front of the library will be planted in an herb garden in recognition of much loved former club member, Betty Cleghorn, and of the library herb garden that the Lyme Garden Club has maintained for years.
Planting will be done in phases to take advantage of ideal planting seasons and as needed funds are raised. So far, people have been generous with plant donations, and two local landscape companies have volunteered manpower and machinery. The Garden Club is currently looking for donors to sponsor the planting of a tree at the donation level of $500 per tree. “We have ten tree donors so far,” said Kistner, “but we need six more. And of course there are many other ways people can contribute.” Interested donors should contact Mary Ann Kistner by email at email@example.com or at 860-526-3621.
To view the Lyme Town Campus landscape plans online, go to the project blog at www.lymetowncampus.blogspot.com. There will be a link on the right sidebar. Copies will also be on display at the Lyme Town Hall and the Lyme Public Library.
Editor’s Note: If you would like more information about the Lyme Town Campus project, contact Janis Witkins at 860 304-3318 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about the Lyme Garden Club, contact Mary Ann Kistner at 860-526-3621 or at email@example.com