Tuscany Oval 1

In 1928, two small green spaces were located on Tuscany and Ridgemede Roads in the “Olmstead-type streets” designs. Note: Frederick Olmstead designed Roland Park, Guilford, Homeland but did not design Tuscany-Canterbury.   [Olmstead streets were not usually parallel and perpendicular. He wanted neighborhood streets to slow traffic and be inviting for neighbors to use].


The amsonia are establishing themselves nicely and will give good coverage in the west part of the oval after a year’s growth.  The sideoats gamma is establishing in the sunny southeast corner. Some of the heliopsis are emerging. The vivid orange flowers of the heliopsis will make a pleasing contrast with the white hydrangea blossoms in summer.


Projects for 2023: Some of the ferns, epimedium and False solomons seal could be spread out a little better.  Purchase one additional flat of perennials is planned for fall planting in order to speed up the filling in process.

There are some bare areas close to the trunks of the cedars.  The plantings in the north end of the oval are being crowded by the helleborus.


Tuscany Oval gets a major facelift: The plans are to remove the mostly overgrown, old plants and replace them with new native plants, that once established will require no watering. The garden plan has been designed by our esteemed local professional landscape architect, Charles Brenton. The planting will also involve the addition of some mulch and soil amendments. The project will be completed in two steps: (1) site preparation (removal of the old vegetation in one day) performed days or possibly weeks before the planting, and (2) planting of the new vegetation (possibly taking more than one day). We are hoping the cooler fall weather will provide adequate time for the new plants to get established before winter sets in.

 TCNA has purchased 150 new plants for the oval and paid for the removal of the overgrown plants. Thank you to the volunteers who will be working on October 15 and 16 to improve the oval.  

Bonnie Boland, Greens Committee Chair

Before 2013

Every time I walk or drive past the triangular traf-
fic island planting bed at the intersection of Tuscany and Ridgemede Roads, I swell with pride. Many great neighbors pitched in to make its renovation a shining example of civic pride. Do you remember what it used to look like?

The problem: Neighbors immediate to and just passing through this location were tired of looking at the island infested with weed grass and English Ivy. Wouldn’t it be nice to come home to a welcoming flowerbed instead of a weedy mess?

The plan: The TCNA Garden Committee started by hiring me, a professional landscape designer, to plan what this approximately 600-square-foot garden could be. I studied the soil and light conditions, the extent of the weed problem, and which good plants in the bed could be salvaged
for a low-maintenance, colorful garden. My biggest thrill was finding about ten nice-size boulders hidden inside the weeds. The next step was to go shopping, with the budget in mind, for appropriate perennials and shrubs.

My hero was Eugene O’Dunne, who drove through several counties with me while I selected plants from three different nurseries. He also provided total demolition, trash collection, and disposal. He brought garbage cans and tarps and, to my delight, a pry bar with which we moved the boulders to a more visible spot in the front of the planting bed. After delivering all the plants, he purchased the enriched topsoil and the shredded hardwood, enabling us to finish the job on time.

to the following folks who donated great plants: Jean Van Buskirk—bleeding heart; Sue Talbott—daisies; Sally Robinson—large hellebores, gorgeous Epimedium, and bugle- weed; John Rabb—two containers of good compost; Jane Pilliod—Saint-John’s-wort; and Sharyn Frederick—Ger- man Iris bunches, Poet’s Laurel, and perennial coralbells.

The solution: At 8 o’clock on Saturday, October 13, Kenna Forsyth, Eugene O’Dunne, Jo-Ann Orlinsky, AJ O’Brien, and Jane Pilliod pitched in with time, tools, and muscle power. AJ brought orange cones, gloves, and other helpful tools. I brought recycling cans, first aid kit, tools, and lots of plants. Everybody maintained a determined spirit to get it done in one day. Without the hired help of Alex Proctor and Daniel O’Brien, we never would have met this deadline. Alex and Daniel are no strangers to the physical demands and creative decision-making necessary to carve out an inspired garden. Plus, they were a joy to spend the day with.

The final step was proper watering. A special subcommittee of waterers formed to immediately address this need. John Held provided a hose extension with a 50-foot hose and hose holder in the corner of his front yard close to the planting bed. Were this water access and watering committee not available, all our hard work could be destroyed by August.

Kenna Forsyth, Gardens Committee Chairperson

Sharyn Frederick, TCNA Member 

Before 2013