A year and a half ago, Ossining resident Mary Gallagher was on one of her frequent walks through Rockefeller State Park Preserve when she saw a sign reading, “If you enjoy this garden, come help.” A similar message brought many of the volunteers along with Westover Landscape Design together on Thursday morning to spend their time beautifying the entrance to the 1,200 acre preserve.

Chris Davies, a resident of Ossining and a volunteer since 2007, describes her walks at the preserve as a “soul saver” making her smile when she’s, “feeling down.” She was glad to have so many enthusiastic volunteers. The volunteers greatly appreciated having Westover Landscape Design offer its services pro bono bringing in landscape designer and founder Robert Welsch along with his dedicated crew of experienced landscape professionals. “Any garden needs a refresh after time has passed. We did some editing and small additions to what was a good design to start out with”, said Welsch. The team worked together to prepare the entrance with its renowned tree peonies by clearing overgrown and unwanted vegetation, styling existing plants to better fit the space and planting 10,000 naturalized daffodil bulbs for the spring time.

The group worked together digging out delicate shrubs, carefully pruning, and building paths in the beds for continual garden maintenance. Keith Austin , Coordinator for the Garden Volunteers, expressed his satisfaction with the dynamic group, “I’m an enthusiast but not a master gardener,” he was especially happy to have Westover’s horticultural expertise and skilled strength to beautify the entrance to a beloved Westchester location.