The Cape Cod Horticultural Society (CCHS) was founded February 17, 1928 with 78 charter members, most of whom were professional gardeners. In 1930, two sisters, Mrs. Templeton Kelley and Mrs Andrew McClarey gave 8.5 acres of land across Main Street from their home, Bandeley Manor, to the CCHS. Volunteers care for the land now known as Armstrong-Kelley Park.
In 1991, landscape architect, Alan Abrahamson, created a master plan for the development of the Park. The plan called for paths throughout the acreage and creation of heather, holly, rhododendron, conifer and ornamental gardens. The volunteers immediately started executing the plan. Here are some of the highlights since then:
Dr. Harry Bowen created the Heather Hillside
Mr. Woody Mills, curator of the Ashumet Holly and Wildlife Sanctuary, guided the creation of the Holly Dell.
Osterville Rotary Club spearheaded by Nancy Starck, financed the Rotary Rhododendron Walk
General Gavin Memorial dedicated
E. J. Jaxtimer constructed the wisteria pergola and memorial
Trees donated by the Stimets Family and the Osterville Garden Club
The front of the park renovated courtesy of the Landers Company Starck family donation created the first three memorial benches Woodland Walkway begins with donation by E. J. Jaxtimer
Dedication of Gateway to the 21st Century celebrating 70 years of service
Growers of Armstrong-Kelley Park begins with installation of 11 plaques
9/11/01 tragedy memorialized on Woodland Walkway
The apiary was launched
The John Folk Water Garden created
Weston Nursery’s Rhododendron Garden established along the trails
Liam’s train and Liam’s View dedicated to two year old Liam O’Neil
The third work shed was constructed in 2005 and 2006. All hand built by Ray White, Phil Perry and a rubber roof donated by Cazeault Roofing, Kevin O’Neil’s excavation and electrical work, and Overhead Door Co.
Due to the efforts of Bartlett Tree Experts, our weeping cedar was the star of the New England Flower Show.
George II, a new specialty mower was added thanks to Mrs. Rowland
Monge walkway initiated
Wooden benches scattered throughout the park
Large specimen tree donated by of Bartlett Tree Experts
The John Folk Water Garden is redesigned and has Japanese water garden feel
Two more benches added by John Folk Water Garden
American holly donated and dedicated by Bartlett Tree Experts
Weston Nursery experimental azaleas garden removed. In its place, Buddy’s Place walkway system established and memorial stone program initiated. Redesign of John Folk Water Garden including a Weeping Atlas Tree installed.
Polar Express celebration and Visit to the North Pole was enthusiastically received.
Two new beds established in arboretum. Limelight hydrangeas, weigela shrubs and select Weston Nursery azaleas installed.
New bed established near Folk Water Garden. Viburnum added.
Over 1,500 Boardwalks power washed and stained.
Wedding garden established. Alaskan cedar, Bobo hydrangeas and Knockout roses are main features.
Memorial bench installed near Dawn Redwood
Memorial benches and River Birch installed near Folk Water Garden. Board of Directors met with The Trustees of the Reservations to discuss transferring our assets, fiduciary responsibility, and day to day operation of the Park. Discussions commenced. Park sign repainted and moved to original location near entrance.
Members overwhelmingly voted to integrate with the Trustees of the Reservations. Fundraising $2.5M commenced. Certified wetland approved for removal of all invasives, work commenced in the summer.
Our dedicated volunteers toil each week to make the Park bloom with sunny spring afternoons, cool grass underfoot and lasting memories for everyone. Trees’ shadows extend overhead. Flowers multiply. Fish splash in the pond. The train bell rings. Visitors wander the park during lazy days in the heat of summer. Pets and kids scurry up the trails. Bees gather nectar.
Fundraising for the Park’s future continues. Integration with the Trustees of the Reservations anticipated in 2021.