Submitted Articles to the Vermont Leaf
A statewide newsletter from the Federated Garden Clubs of Vermont
News from the Arlington Garden Club
On Saturday, July 14th, the Arlington Garden Club hosted its fifth “Town and Country Garden Tour,” featuring eight private gardens in the towns of Arlington and neighboring Sunderland, as well as one public space, at the Sunderland Town Hall, as a bonus garden. This year’s tour was organized by club co-presidents Jean Freebern and Joanna Taylor, along with long-time members (and past presidents) Nancy Hadley, Pat Williams and Nancy Boardman. Helping out as “garden sitters” were members of the club as well as friends of the garden owners, who welcomed guests and showed them around the various properties, so that it was truly a team effort.
The eight private gardens offered myriad unique highlights, such as extensive rock walls, water features, stands of black walnut trees and birches, flourishing vegetable plots and, on one property, several fairy gardens nestled in tree stumps to not only delight the owners’ grandchildren but also introduce them to horticulture on a small scale. Some properties celebrated the joyful colors and blowsy abundance typical of cottage gardens, while other owners opted for a more formal design; one couple covered both, as the viewer moved from the front of the house to the back—truly the best of both worlds. Virtually all the owners mentioned the many types of wildlife with whom they share their properties—fox, deer, turkey, sometimes a bear or coyote and of course butterflies, bees and birds. All these creatures take as much pleasure—and food—from the landscape and gardens as the owners do, but without having to do any of the work! Two of the properties on the tour were literally brought back from the dead after the ravages of Hurricane Irene in 2011. The raging waters swept away gardens, fencing, compost heaps, trees, walls and bridges. Both sets of owners—one who lives near the Batten Kill on Rt. 313 and the others who live on the Roaring Branch on Kelley Stand Road—grieved, assessed the damage, took a deep breath and began to rebuild and even expand, with the help of their neighbors and the town. Their properties today are testament to not only the power of Nature but also the resilience of humans.
It was a lovely day, with box lunches provided by the Wayside Country Store and live music greeting guests on the porch of the Hill Farm Inn, one of the properties on the tour. The proceeds from the event will, in keeping with club tradition, help fund our ongoing
efforts to beautify the town, offer educational programs for children and adults, and provide an annual scholarship to an Arlington high-school senior who is furthering his or her education after graduation, as well as to offer financial aid to local schoolchildren who wish to participate in the state’s Conservation Camp each summer.
Submitted by Nancy Boardman, Corresponding Secretary
The Leaf Article, August 2019
The Arlington Garden Club began its 2019 season in March, and has blossomed in some exciting ways since then. For one, we have a bumper crop of new members, who are bringing their expertise, experience and enthusiasm to the club’s mission and many projects. For another, we have formed a very productive partnership with the Arlington Area Renewal Project, an exciting volunteer endeavor the seeks to bring all sorts of energy to the towns of Arlington, Sunderland and Sandgate. The group is working hard to find workable solutions to economic and social issues such as affordable housing and job creation, as well as exploring creative ways to draw visitors to our area. One of its most successful efforts to date has been the Arlington Farmers Market, which is managed by one of our new club members, Jessica Roberts. Now in its second season, it grows in numbers of vendors and buyers with each passing Friday evening. The club has had free space there on several occasions to promote our mission and garner new members. The Project has also generously funded some of our civic beautification efforts around town, including filling with flowers the planters under the wooden signs that mark the entrances to Arlington.This is truly a rewarding relationship for both groups, one that we expect will benefit residents and visitors alike.
On Memorial Day club members marched in record numbers at the Arlington Memorial Day Parade, handing out vegetable and flower-seed packets to bystanders along the parade route. Our flag-waving contingent was led by Joann Rose’s husband’s antique pick-up truck, loaded with barrels, buckets and baskets of flowers, with Lynn Novick’s husband bringing up the rear in his vintage red sports car. This was the first year that prizes for themed floats were given by the parade’s sponsor, American Legion Post 69, and we are already planning our strategy to win one in 2020!
Along with another successful Plant and Bake sale over the Memorial Day weekend and an array of interesting, inspirational monthly programs--including a demo by floral designer and flower-show judge Valerie Cleary and a talk (co-sponsored with the Garden Club of Manchester) by Susan Morse of Keeping Track, Inc. about the effects of climate change on the animals of the North-- the Arlington Garden Club is half-way through another noteworthy year on both traditional and new fronts.
Submitted by Nancy Boardman, Corresponding Secretary