GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

June 20, 2013

Weed whackers whirl at rotary

By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — A quietly fought war has come to end, and the winners may be the drivers who travel around Grant Circle.

In a sure sign of the ceasefire, dozens of members of the Cape Ann Garden Clubs gathered at the rotary, the conflict’s ground zero, Tuesday, armed with shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows and weed whackers. They weeded, redug flower and shrub beds and cleaned up the island at the center of the circle, the hotbed of contention for years between the “Steel Magnolias” from the local ladies’ gardening clubs and a lone “Maverick” macho gardener.

Earlier this spring a truce was negotiated by the state Department of Transportation Sector 4, under whose aegis the gardening rights to the Grant Circle rotary site falls. State officials diplomatically divided the rotary site between Peter Perthou and Lida Bernard, representing the Cape Ann Garden Clubs.

Perthou, who, for 30 years had, with the DOT Sector 4, taken on the Herculean task of single-handedly planting, maintaining and controlling state highway traffic islands and road sites throughout Cape Ann, hasn’t been idle. Reportedly he was out at the circle earlier this week working on his area.

Members of the local garden clubs in Gloucester, Rockport and Cape Ann joined together to create Cape Ann Garden Clubs.