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NATIONAL GARDEN WEEK PROCLAMATION

 

The Town of Southbury declared June 3-9 "National Garden Week" with an official proclamation recognizing the importance of gardening and the many contributions of the Southbury Garden Club, the National Garden Clubs, Inc. and all gardeners.

 

First Selectman Jeffery Manville signed the proclamation which acknowledged that gardeners contribute: beauty and nutrition by growing herbs, vegetables, foliage and flowers; preserve the country’s spirit of independence and hard work; strive for a balanced and productive ecology; promote a healthy lifestyle that lasts a lifetime and make a difference in their communities worldwide.

 

Members also displayed plants and garden-related books throughout the Southbury Public Library


AN OAK TREE GROWS IN SOUTHBURY...


 
 

The Southbury Garden Club 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 spring. A plaque commemorating the event will be added later.

The inspiration for the tree occurred when Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut President Jane 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.


HELPING PRESERVE THE TOWN’S HERITAGE

 

         
 

Members of the Southbury Garden Club and the Historical Building Commission 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 authentic 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 Town of Southbury Public Works Department has now taken responsibility for watering the new gardens.

MULTIPLE CIVIC PROJECTS GREATLY BENEFIT AREA RESIDENTS 

 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 recently. Some are traditional endeavors others are new projects.

 

  • Youth Activities - The SGC conducts workshops workshops and floral related projects in cooperation with the Southbury Public Library, local scout organizations and school teachers and students.


  • Therapy Baskets for Safe Haven – This long standing project is very popular. Each spring  members assemble and decorate 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.


  • Community Garden - Club members plant, tend and harvest fresh produce from the club’s plots in Heritage Village* and the Southbury Community Park Garden. Lettuce, tomatoes, beans and other veggies are harvested weekly and brought to the Southbury Food Bank.
  • * This year the club has cultivated a second plot in Heritage Village, doubling the amount of fresh donations to the Southbury Food Bank.
  • Library Flower ArrangementsClub 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 GardenThe 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 goals 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. The 2018 winner will be announced and presented with the award at the SGC's August 3rd meeting at the library.

HARRIET KOONS MEMORIAL HERB GARDEN AT AUDUBON FACILITY
   

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

The tornado which struck Southbury in May damaged many trees and shrubs around the Herb Garden, so the club decided to use this opportunity to update and overhaul the entire garden.

Keeping with the original mission of the Herb Garden, and with guidance from local horticultural expert, Wes Rowley, members spent many hours replanting and replacing the entire area with a variety of herbs and species found in colonial gardens in Connecticut.