The Sandwich Farmers Market cordially invites townspeople, friends and neighbors to bring a picnic and enjoy the new park on Wednesday evenings when the farmers will be on Church Street. Just a few years ago, the Quimby Park was a neglected fire pond surrounded by un-pruned bushes and trees and weedy daylilies, the backyard that no one noticed.
Robin Dustin, a Sandwich gardener, recalls standing at the Town parking lot looking across the pond at a brushy gravel bank behind the Community Church parking lot. Derek Marshall, a Quimby Trustee, asked her, “Can you think of any way to save those daylilies?”
“I did a lot of 2 to 4 a.m. thinking about that,” Robin said.
Dustin and Dale Christensen dug up 200 daylilies, pulled the Bishop weed out of their roots, potted them in big pots, color coded each one and took them home for careful tending while the Quimby Trustees developed a plan for their property beside the pond.
Quimby Park honors Alfred Quimby, a Sandwich citizen whose philanthropy a century ago is still benefiting townspeople. Plans for the park came into shape when the Sandwich Historical Museum moved its barn from its original site across Maple Street in a hayfield to the lot next to Town Hall and the pond. The barn is now home to the Sandwich Historical Society’s unique Transportation Museum which houses the famed Concord Coach, a snow roller and other historic vehicles.
The barn’s old foundation was granite boulders, perfect building material for walls around the renovated barn. The town’s famed stone masons Gil Rogers, Peter Pohl and Ted Adriance created a curvy wall that runs along the side of the museum, elegant granite steps and a stout wall in front of the museum.
“I asked them to keep the wall to a foot and a half in height so it would be easy for gardeners to bend over,” Dustin recalled.
With the walls complete, the gardeners went back to work replanting the daylilies atop the wall and adding dozens of other flowering shrubs and perennials. The astilbes will be blooming soon. The 200 daylilies will show their colors in July.
The wall and the gardens lead visitors into the grassy park where yellow iris are blooming among cattails now at the edge of the little pond. Dustin, Christensen and the Sandwich Garden Club trimmed the weeds away from the edge of the pond and planted hundreds of daffodils.