Yale spirit grows from a spring palette and pups

April 27, 2022

A recent cold and dreary morning broke into the season’s first glowingly warm day. As intermittent showers passed, rays of sun activated a crew of gardeners at Yale’s West Campus. Perched in the cab of a glossy white Facilities grounds and maintenance truck, master gardener Dawn Landino and groundskeeper Louis “Louie” Fanelli surveyed acreage in the area.  

First, yielding to dozens of lush yellow daffodils and pea green boxwoods lining an arrival sequence to the conference center (building 800). In need of a light trim, Dawn snipped stray growth from the shrubs’ top—now even until the next sprout. Louie navigated a sidewalk nearby, periodically stopping to tinker with pansies that may have strayed from their original planting plot. Each waist-high container is abundant with blue and white flowers as felty as Yale’s college pennant. 

“Icicle pansies can take a light snow,” said Dawn. “These flowers get us through the early part of our growing season and look good for commencement, before it gets too hot.” 

Following a stop at an operations yard to load woody mulch into a rough terrain vehicle, the crew pushed toward the entrance gate at Marsh Hill Road. A few days earlier they drew a “Y” in pansies to welcome staff and guests to the campus, then added a sculpture of Handsome Dan with bulldog pups to ornament the landscape’s uniquely themed design. 

We don’t see Handsome Dan often, but he did make an appearance last year for commencement,” added Dawn. I found our three little pups for sale online and they show Yale spirit every day.