Garden project beautifies New Castle in time for Burning Mountain Festival |

Garden project beautifies New Castle in time for Burning Mountain Festival

Kay Vasilakis
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Beautiful downtown New Castle is becoming even more lovely, thanks to a new Smart Scape Garden, located in part of the vacant lot next to Garcia’s establishment on Main Street.

New Castle Town Council wanted a place to educate its constituents about smart use of water and to provide additional beautification for the town festival.

“There’s a lot of motivation on the part of the garden club and an urgent need for the town conservation plan,” said New Castle Mayor Frank Breslin.

A downtown garden idea had been mulling around for several months, and the town council made a generous contribution to get the 30- by 50-foot project off its feet.

Many local businesses, organizations and individuals have contributed to this effort, including the New Castle Garden Club, which donated labor and some materials; Chelewski Pipe and Supply, Inc. donated pipe for a drip system; Dwyer Greenhouse, planting materials; Wal-Mart made a small contribution of plants; Alpine Garden, mulch and discount on plants; and Neiman’s Garden, discount on plants. Many individuals contributed flowers, and the project received a good deal of help from Kim Rider, who manages the town’s flower beds and facilitated with the preparation of the flower beds and contributed her gardening expertise.

Labor for the garden has been done mainly by New Castle Garden Club members. Paul Romero, husband of one of the garden club members, has been invaluable to the project, said garden club member Mary Johnson.

Four trees have been planted, including one ornamental plum, one crabspring, one locust tree and an ash tree.

Project workers planted perennials in the garden July 10. The dirt was very tough to work, and the heat, even in the morning, made the project even tougher. Another group will be working on Friday. The gardeners need help to dig up some of the overgrown barberry bushes from Ritter Plaza. Russian sage, spirea, lavender, hyssop, sedum, potentilla and boxwood bushes at the walkway entrance are among the other plantings. All plants will be identified so visitors can get ideas for their own landscaping.

The New Castle Lions Club collaborated with the local blacksmith guild for a unique historical and recycling addition to the garden.

A custom-made bike rack, made of 10 feet of the original New Castle miners’ memorial wrought-iron fence by Grand Valley Blacksmith Guild members Joe Erickson of New Castle and Bill Smith of Silt. Joe was given the fence a few years ago from the New Castle Historical Museum because it was mangled, and they knew Joe was a blacksmith guild member. It took Joe and Bill an entire day to heat and straighten it, and they added flowers and leaves on top of the rack in the spirit of the garden. Through the Grand Valley Blacksmith Guild, they donated the bike rack to the Smart Scape project.

The garden will be ready for enjoyment Burning Mountain Day.

“We hope it will provide a peaceful, soothing park in the center of town with beautiful blooming things all around,” said Johnson.

You can become involved, too. Organizers would appreciate someone donating a bench or benches for the garden, and/or a picket fence to go around it. To become involved, call Mary at 984-3577.

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