Three different gardens decorate the library grounds. Beds of annuals and perennials line the path to the entrance, a colorful “front garden” enhances the building’s facade, and in back is a “reading garden,” designed by Claudia Everest, with specimen trees and shrubs, places to sit, and a fountain.
About the Gardens
The gardens at the Amherst Town Library consist of three areas:
1. ENTRYWAY ANNUAL GARDENS
The first area is at the entrance walkway where annuals are planted each year on either side of the walkway and at the sign post. The annuals are selected by the leads and planted by a team of volunteers. Irrigation was put in after grant money from a Garden Tour was awarded. The team also volunteers time during the summer to deadhead and maintain this area.
2. PERENNIAL FRONT GARDEN
The second area is still at the front of the building and consists of a mixed perennial and annual garden, in front of a stone wall. The perennials were selected to add color and texture throughout the summer, and the annuals are simply to tie it in to the annual entryway gardens. This second area is also maintained by volunteers during the summer and twice a year at clean up (spring) and clean up (fall).
3. BACK “READING GARDENS”
The third area runs along the parking lot to the right and along the back of the property. These gardens are perennials, planted in larger areas, bringing in color and texture from spring thru fall. Originally designed by Claudia Everest with grant money from a Garden Tour, it has lovely specimen trees and shrubs. Irrigation is also in the back area and a lovely hardscape to invite one to sit and read a book or have lunch. There is a delightful stone bubbler which attracts many a thirsty bird. These gardens demand a steady group to weed every few weeks during the summer. We also work hard in this area in the spring and fall.
WHAT IS FUN AND NOTEWORTHY ABOUT THESE GARDENS?
- The entryway annual gardens are unique and healthy examples of combinations of annuals, sometimes including eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, parsley, ornamental peppers or kale plants. Color, hardiness, height and texture are all taken into consideration when selecting plants. Several small trees offer lovely blooming periods, including the Hawthorne and Ornamental Cherry (Prunus ‘Hally Jolievette’) at the entrance way. Off to the right is a Viburnum carlesii with large flat white flowers.
- The garden in front of the stone wall features early blooming Lilliput iris, peonies, later blooming Cimicifugia, allium, Stokes asters, and daylilies, to name a few. We always add in some annuals that have been used in the entryway to tie the gardens together.
- The back “Reading Gardens” feature some wonderful varieties of jumbo leaf hostas, such as ‘Sum & Substance,’ ‘Great Expectations,’ and a smaller one with purple flowers, ‘So Sweet.’ Iris cristata ‘Alba’ has filled in nicely along the patio and blooms in spring. Several trees/shrubs of note would be a Japanese Umbrella Pine (Sciadopitys verticillata), Pagoda Dogwood, Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’), Styrax japonicus ‘Pink Chimes,’ inkberry, summersweet, winterberry, lilacs and witchhazel.