This article is a duplication of an article that originally appeared in the Boston Globe on December 17, 2015, written by Steve Annear.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on Boston Common. But not because it snowed.
A light dusting of white on a portion of the park grounds, close to the Tremont Street side, is giving off the appearance of a white Christmas. It’s not the real deal. It’s not even part of the city’s holiday decorations.
Instead, it’s the handiwork of landscapers and the Friends of the Public Garden, who are laying down lime on the lawn to prepare the grass for next spring.
At first, Kevin Dodson was fooled. But only briefly. “I thought, ‘That looks like snow!’ But then I realized it can’t be snow, because it’s warm, and I said, ‘lime,” he said. “What a brilliant plan to take advantage of Mother Nature, so we will have a better lawn next year … And it looks pretty. It does look pretty.”
Crews were able to apply the treatment one last time due to the unseasonably warm weather that much of the region has recently experienced. “The treatment will support better root growth and development, provide plant nutrients, increase disease resistance, and correct several conditions that are causing additional stress on the plant life in this heavily used urban park,” according to a statement from the Friends of the Public Garden, which partners with the city to preserve and maintain the Common and other public park spaces.
The lime dusting is being paid for by the Friends of the Public Garden, according to City Hall spokeswoman Bonnie McGilpin. She said the project was approved by the Parks and Recreation Department. For some, the swirling, circling lime coating was a welcome sight recalling other Decembers marked by picturesque snow.
This year Christmas will see no sign of snow, as temperatures are expected to reach at least the 50s, if not higher. “It looks a little bit like it snowed,” said Laura Merrill, as she strolled through the park. “I think if they had to do it now, they did a pretty job.”