Many factors contribute to the charm of our town. Friendly shopkeepers, delicious eateries and cultural events are but a few. Next time you’re downtown, view the area through a different lens, that of nature. Concentrate on the greenery and blossoms which truly enhance the wooded landscape. Several of these commercial area focal points reflect the vision and dedication of one exceptionally talented member of our community, Julie Greco.
After moving here at age five, Ms. Greco’s passion for nature began to flourish. The strong interest in gardening imparted from her mother and grandmother helped create the foundation of her livelihood today as an independent landscape designer. Flower and vegetable plots were an integral part of her childhood. Extended family nurtured her passion, stopping by laden with plants from their own gardens as gifts.
Donating her time and expertise is her way of giving back. During her 13-year tenure in the Chappaqua Garden Club, she served as chair of landscape design and chair of civic improvement. In addition, the Beautification Advisory Board has been graced by her presence as an active member.
When the town asked Ms. Greco to redesign the Pocket Park (the term connoting a space closed on three sides, open on one), she felt “honored” by the request. As a volunteer, she designed and developed the project from “inception to dedication” and continues to do so, maintaining the look and feel. The space harbors a special place in her heart, especially when she sees a mother pause to show her child, “the tile that mommy made,” in the mosaic on the southern wall.
The Pocket Park, nestled to the left of the row of buildings that includes Susan Lawrence on North Greeley Avenue, is to Chappaqua what the stately clock is to Grand Central. “Meet you at the Pocket Park,” is a common refrain.
Appreciation of the Pocket Park is accessible in any season. This is a reflection of Ms. Greco’s eye for elements that provide “texture and color, even when nothing’s in bloom.”
“Rhythm and contrast” are the omnipresent keys to year-round beauty. Foliage on the PJM rhododendron turns burgundy in winter. Spring brings soft hues of blue and yellow from flowering bulbs.
Residents linger, savoring the sanctuary. Birds perch in the birch tree and bunnies scamper underneath the shrubbery. Appreciation of the park is not limited to the aforementioned; it is also listed in the esteemed Garden Conservancy Catalog.
Evidence of her touch also appears in the triangle at the intersection of routes 117 and 120 at the top of King Street. This patch features extremely hardly plants, capable of withstanding the heat of the sun and the salt on the roads in wintertime. Ornamental grasses, waving in the breeze, are interspersed with red carpet roses and perennial salvia, adding vivid color.
To contact Julie Greco write to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about beautification projects around town, contact the New Castle Recreation and Parks Commission at 238-3909.
Sarah Ellen Rindsberg, who very much admires great landscape design, is a frequent contributor to Inside Chappaqua and Inside Armonk magazines.