What about Welcome Garden?

To the editor:

Is this going to be the garden that welcomes visitors to our village (Saranac Lake)? The one garden people see when entering the village from the north?

More than 15 years ago, two ladies from the Village Improvement Society took over a patch of neglected weeds on the corner of Old Lake Colby Road and state Route 86, and turned this into a perennial garden. It was a lot of hard work, but it paid off. It was a true community project. We transplanted perennial flowers from our own gardens as well as plants donated by many community members. We received lilies, phlox and many other plants from many Saranac Lakers. For 15 years, we worked hard, weeding, dividing, transplanting. Every spring we dragged a dozen 40-pound bags of compost and lovingly spread it over the plot.

It turned out beautiful. I got a lot of comments. Every time we were busy weeding the garden, people passing by honked, stopped and commented on the beautiful garden at the entrance to the village. Once I was approached by a woman at the supermarket who said, “Thank you for the Welcome Garden.” It made my day.

Well, after 15 years, we decided it was time to pass the banner to the younger generation. But the younger generation doesn’t like hard work. The new VIS members are more interested in publicity and fundraising than pulling weeds. They’re busy playing with “virtual” gardens on the computer. So our beautiful Welcome Garden reverted back into an unwelcoming patch of weeds in just a few months.

What will be the future of the Welcome Garden? Are we to “round up” the whole plot, pave it and paint flowers on the concrete in the name of virtual reality? Every time I drive past this plot on my way to shop in the village, I am heartbroken. So is my partner in those many years of hard toil.

Dana Fast

Lake Clear