Evergreens, regal statues and multicolored roses will embellish Snell Isle's parks just in time for summer weddings.
The city of St. Petersburg recently approved a landscape redesign for Snell Isle's four gardens, which had been in decline for some time, said parks manager Chandrahasa Srinivasa. The first phase of renovation began in March on Snell Isle Boulevard NE, bordering the Vinoy golf course.
In a meeting with the city in February, the Snell Isle Property Owners Association suggested that the parks should resemble knot gardens, manicured, formal gardens in square frames, a concept originating from England, to pay homage to the history of Snell Isle and its developer, C. Perry Snell. Snell had knot gardens in his original plans.
To bring back the Old Florida ambience, developers studied aerial photos of the park taken as far back as 1927. The landscape will resemble a knot garden, with well-kept shrubbery, symmetry, coats of arms, stone pavements and a central small fountain.
"Basically we're bringing it back to how the park used to look," Srinivasa said.
A few statues that were vandalized in June will be restored. A gazebo with historic significance will also be refurbished. The landscaping will cost the city $20,000, but the statues and gazebo are separate, part of a capital improvements plan, Srinivasa said. All renovations are expected to be completed this month.
The renovations are timely, Srinivasa said, because many couples choose Snell Isle for weddings, and reservations are booked months in advance.
Snell Isle Property Owners Association president Scott Youngblood, a resident of eight years, welcomed the plans.
"This has been in the budget for a while, and nothing on Snell Isle has been done by the city in a while," he said.
Colleen Wright can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8913. Follow her on Twitter @Colleen_Wright.