By Linda Scott
The Miller Pavilion
Driving through Honesdale on a recent Sunday afternoon, I came across Sandie Grandinetti, owner of Mary Beth Bridals & Boutique, pruning plants in the vicinity of the Miller Pavilion on Main Street. Sandie has been tending to this beautiful garden, as a volunteer on behalf of the Greater Honesdale Partnership, since July of this year. Like many other business owners, in addition to long hours running their businesses, she takes time to volunteer to help make Honesdale look its best. These pots were filled in the spring and installed courtesy of Ellen Memorial Health Care Facility. The Honesdale National Bank provides the water for the plants in the pavilion area.
Grandinetti also purchases lime and bone meal for the roses in Central Park and helps trim them when needed. She feels that the roses suffered a bit this year from the dry spell we had this summer. Because of this, she would like to see a couple of water spigots in the park. And, oh yes, with locks on them!
You can’t drive down Main Street, Honesdale, or across the bridges or even visit the Wayne County Court House without noticing all the huge beautiful clay pots filled with flowers. This project is maintained by the Women’s Club of Honesdale. If you visit their web site www.womensclubofhonesdale you will find the following statement: “The club is particularly proud of their ongoing plantings throughout Honesdale: 40 trees, flowers, bulbs, shrubs and each year planters are planted on Main Street”. Recently I spoke with Paula Roos, a longtime member of the Women’s Club and enthusiast of the beautification projects, about the history of this particular endeavor.
Roos said that she was in Carbondale and noticed all the lovely flower pots in the town. After asking around, she discovered that they were donated by Mr. Esbenshade, who subsequently donated 8 pots to Honesdale. Throughout the years, the Women’s Club has raised money through a bus trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show and their annual Antiques Show to purchase additional pots and the flowers that are planted annually. Currently, she estimates there are approximately 30-35 pots placed around the borough.
Roos also stated that in the spring Mickey Gulino organizes the plantings. The pots are taken out of storage, flowers and water-retentive soil are purchased, and a work day is scheduled. Businesses are contacted to make sure they are able to water and maintain the planters, most of which are placed on Main Street. In the fall, usually sometime in October, another work day is scheduled and then the containers are stored by the borough for the winter.
Shout out to Robert Zabady
During discussions with the volunteers for these two articles one name kept coming up over and over again. And that was Robert Zabady. Owner of the Ellen Memorial Health Care Center, Mr. Zabady is best known to readers of the Transition Honesdale newsletter for his generosity in providing space on the Ellen Memorial property for the community garden, also building a pavilion and a deer fence, and handicap accessibility to the garden.
Zabady generously provides the planters near the Fred Miller Pavilion on Main Street. This garden consists of numerous containers filled with a profusion of flowers, as well as grasses, bushes and some evergreen plants. In March he has Countryside Florist in Mt. Cobb begin growing the flowers, so that when they are delivered to the pavilion they are in full bloom. Every three to four weeks he has someone fertilize the flowers so they continue looking beautiful all summer. The pots, which weigh a considerable amount, are moved both to and from the pavilion on trailers and stored at Ellen Memorial.
Zabady has also done much to enhance the beauty of Central Park in Honesdale, putting in rose beds and plantings of roses and other flowers around the monument. In 1993 his family donated a new copper fountain that fits within the existing stonework. (The original fountain was installed to commemorate our nation’s centennial.) The new fountain actually comes apart, is cleaned, maintained and then stored for the next season. The motor was also recently replaced.
Robert Zabady has many more ideas for the beautification of Honesdale. In his own words, he “would like to see all of Honesdale, not just the downtown, look as beautiful as possible.” So, stay tuned. I am going to keep my eyes open for one particular project he mentioned.
So many people—many more that we have featured in these articles–have contributed their time, money and energy to making and keeping Honesdale beautiful so that we may all enjoy it. We are very grateful for their care and effort.