The Southbury Garden Club recently purchased a northern red oak tree, and donated it to the Town of Southbury. The northern red oak is an adaptable, widely planted species with a rapid growth rate. It will reach a height of 60 to 70 feet and a spread of 40 to 60 feet when fully grown.

Club President Cheryl Smith, said: “Planting a tree is a symbol of hope because it will be enjoyed by future generations and the club hopes area residents will enjoy this tree for many years to come.”

With help from the Town of Southbury Public Works Department Director John Cottell, Public Works Foreman Jim Sugden, and his hard-working crew, the tree was planted on a hill in Community House Park in late June. A plaque commemorating the event will be added later.

The inspiration for the tree occurred last December when Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut President Jan Waugh installed the new Southbury Garden Club officers and inspired us with her passion for trees.

During her two-tenure Jane chose the theme “Growing Together: Tiny Acorns to Mighty Oaks,” a program encouraging clubs to plants native oaks trees in their communities. She reminded us we don’t plant trees for ourselves, but for future generations. Jane observed: “We have planted a forest of oaks across the state. A lot of tiny acorns are on their way to becoming mighty oaks!”

The program resulted in approximately one hundred new oak trees in communities across the state.

The Southbury Garden Club is a non-profit group and undertakes many civic projects benefitting the local area.






Members of the Southbury Garden Club and the Historical Building Commission recently joined together to plant and restore historically accurate gardens at the Bullet Hill School in Southbury, one of the oldest surviving brick schoolhouses in New England. It dates back to 1789 and was in use until 1942. The gardens feature plants used in the school’s colonial period.


The volunteers spent several days working hard to thin and transplant existing ferns and iris. They then added lilies, babies’ breath, shasta daisies, black eyed Susan, bleeding heart, lavender, sage, rosemary and thyme.

 They later returned to add mulch because watering must be done the old fashioned way… with buckets and watering cans!


 The Southbury Garden Club is a non-profit organization which undertakes many projects benefitting Southbury and its residents. Here are some of the activities club members have performed this year. Some are traditional endeavors others are new projects:

  • Therapy Baskets for Safe Haven – This long standing project is very popular and again this year members assembled and decorated dozens of baskets containing a small plant and toiletries for the clients of Safe Haven. The club also donates baskets and gifts during the holiday season.

  • Container Gardening Demonstration – Grace Meadow residents were treated to a demonstration of how to successfully plant flowers and veggies in pots. The containers and extra plants were given to audience members after the program.

  • Community Garden - Club members plant, tend and harvest fresh produce at the club’s plot in the Southbury Community Garden. Lettuce, tomatoes, beans and other veggies are harvested weekly and brought to the Southbury Food Bank.

  • Library Flower Arrangements Club members donate weekly floral arrangements for display in the Southbury Public Library. The club also provides additional floral designs for special library events.

  • Colonial Herb Garden The club maintains an herb garden at the Bent of the River Audubon Center, featuring plants and herbs used in colonial times. It is an educational tool for area students and is also a popular site for pictures and wedding ceremonies.

  • Community Gardens in Town Parks – The Civic Committee plants and maintains public gardens in Ballantine Park and Ewald Park for the enjoyment of area residents.

  • Harriet Koons Memorial Scholarship* - The club awards a one thousand dollar scholarship annually to a Southbury resident who is enrolled in an accredited college, majoring in horticulture or a related field of study which reflects the club’s goal of promoting horticulture, conservation and the creative use of plant material.

*It is named in honor of past club president Harriet Koons. For many years she and her husband, Walter, generously supported many conservation projects in the local area.


SGC members designed and installed a garden at the Grace Meadows Assisted Living facility in Southbury. Over a dozen members and husbands arrived en force with trucks full of topsoil, mulch and plants to transform an overrun patch of land in front of the Social Center into a stunning garden, filled withh low maintenance plants and shrubs, many of them native to this area.

SGC members also presented a workshop for Grace Meadows residents demonstrating how to plant container gardens with flowers, herbs and vegetables. The finished  containers were presented to lucky attendants.


The Southbury Garden Club has planted and maintains an herb garden at The Bent of the River Audubon facility. This herb garden is for public enjoyment and educational purposes. It is named in memory of the late Harriet Koons, local philanthropist and past garden club president.