Help Available for Civic Development Committees

Resources for Civic Plantings

  1. Money
    • Find out what kinds of help your town planner and your DPW offer.
    • Try for gifts of plants and supplies from local merchants.
    • Encourage neighbors of projects to fund and maintain them.
    • Look for grants: GCF of MA has two $500 grants a year. Try Associated Grantmakers of MA for others (
  2. Websites:
  3. Books: To locate horticulturally suitable plants:
    • Anderson, Phyllis. Trees in Urban Landscapes. Excellent MHS booklet.
    • Casgrande, Richard, et al. Sustainable Trees and Shrubs for Southern New England. URI and UMA Cooperative Extension Services (write COOP Extension US Dept. Agriculture, URI, Kingston, RI 02881-0804) Invaluable annotated list.
    • Clausen, Ruth Rogers, and N.H. Ekstrom. Perennials for American Gardens. NY: Random House, l989. No lists, but good on plants.
    • Dirr, Michael. Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs. Portland: Timber Press, l997. Superb illustrated encyclopedia.
    • Ferguson, Nicola. Right Plant, Right Place. NY: Fireside Book, 1992. This is after all the name of the game!
    • Hansen, Richard, and F. Stahl. Perennials and their Garden Habitats. Timber Press, l993. (look under “dry”)
  4. Rough guidelines
    • A. Make a planting plan and a plant list and a maintenance plan. Your planting should express your own community’s character.
    • B. Put as much organic material into the soil preparation as possible.
    • C. Choose plants that occur both on lists of plants which tolerate dry soils and plants which can stand salt. If the plant is also able to stand flooding, it is an excellent choice.
    • D. Include herbaceous plants with fuzzy gray leaves (artemesia, dusty miller) or thick waxy leaves (sedums, portulaca) as the plants’ natural defenses against drought and wind whip will keep them looking fresh and attractive.