Route 9 Traffic Island planting

For the Chestnut Hill Garden Club’s 75th anniversary in 1990, the Club presented the Town of Brookline and the City of Newton with a group of trees, shrubs, grasses and roses.  The garden was planted along a formerly dreary stretch of highway in front of a local shopping center.

The project began in the fall of 1988, when a letter was sent to the MA Department of Public Works by then club President Corliss K. Engle.  Corliss described the proposal and requested direction on how to best proceed to implementation.  Besides the DPW, the cooperation of the owners of the adjacent shopping center was needed since they would be responsible for the long-term maintenance of the garden.  Club members Dorothy Baldini and Alice Boardman spearheaded the project.   Funding was to come from proceeds from the club’s garden tour fundraiser and from the owners of The Mall.

The strip of land is approximately 600’ long.  It tapers from 30’ at one end down to 10’ at the other.  Designer, Alice K. Boardman, chose several major ornamental trees including Cornus Kousa, Acer platanoides, Koelreuteria and Liquidamber.  There are also clusters of perennial grasses and shrubs such as Hypericum, Kerria, Myrica, Juniperus and Roses. The design is a unique and interesting planting along the busy thoroughfare.  Approval was granted in the spring of 1990 and the garden was planted in April of that year in time for the Club’s anniversary.

In appreciation for their effort, the Town of Brookline awarded the Garden Club their Conservation Award, “Environmentalist of the Year”.

Twenty years later the planting is still flourishing. The trees have grown to near their mature height and the shrubs and other plants provide year-round interest to the community and passing drivers. (Additional Locust trees were added to the planting by the Town about 2000.) 

When next you visit Chestnut Hill, you can find the garden adjacent to the access road to the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center, which is located at the corner of Route 9 and Hammond Street.