Wolcott Historical Society History for August 2014
By Florence Goodman
This month I will break from my usual historical article to share the history our Historical Society has been making for the past few years in July. On Saturday, July 12th we held our eighth Garden Tour. Visitors strolled leisurely through five hidden treasures located around town for a $10.00 donation, which supports our annual scholarship. Tickets were sold the day of the tour at our Museum on Nichols Road or by mail prior to the tour. This year the gardens were clustered mainly in the eastern section of town.
Perennial gardens are not for the weak or weary; it takes hours of strenuous work to create and maintain them. These gardens can differ greatly since they tend to reflect each gardener's personality and purpose for creating those natural wonderlands. I know from my own experience how much time and energy I have put into my gardens over the years; they are truly "labors" of love. The gardens featured in this year's tour each had its own specialty, but all had a common thread: whimsical, tranquil, beautiful, and peaceful.
The first stop on our tour was to the Woodtick Road home of Deb DuBois. Deb works with indoor and outdoor plant materials on a daily basis since she spends so much of her time working at Orchid Florists. Perennial gardening is not new to Deb, and her creative flare for designing floral arrangements spills out into her own backyard. Deb has created garden rooms throughout her property, with each room consisting of different themes. She uses beautiful statuaries to accent each area as well as many different and unique plants.
We then moved on to Todd Road where Leslie and Ray Lamitola home is found at the end of a beautiful stamped concrete driveway. They have created an enchanting large hosta garden under the shade of many unique trees; in the middle of this garden is a bench that invites you to sit and relax. They have also designed several other gardens throughout the property that create the charm of a "Cottage Garden" atmosphere. Whimsical garden accents and many beautiful birdhouses can be found throughout their yard. These gardens definitely give anyone who enters a feeling of tranquility and peace.
Next we stopped at Central Avenue and viewed the gardens of Teddy Therkildsen and Roy Balkus. As you drive down their long impressive driveway you can't help but enjoy the scenery. It is lined with hydrangea, verbena and other large ornamental flowering shrubs and day lilies that guide you into a sculptured wonderland. This leads you to a unique home set in the middle of beautifully manicured grass and gardens surrounded by a variety of hydrangea in full bloom. Next, you walk through an arched arbor that draws you into well-organized raised-bed vegetable and berry gardens. Beyond the vegetable garden up on the hill is a country shed accented by large boulders and many more unique shrubs and statues bordering the backyard. The use of various types of large evergreen trees helps to create an excellent backdrop all around their yard. These gardens had so much to offer, you had to walk through several times to appreciate the amount of different plant material in this "Paradise found."
Then it was onto Shelton Avenue where we visited the gardens of Ellen and Brett Muccino. Their gardens were featured in last year's tour, but they have made major changes to their yard and gardens so it was a treat to see what had been added or changed. A new front walkway of concrete and brick lead you to a circular brick entrance into their home. You could follow the walkway in either direction. If you walked down the steps it lead to a rock/ cactus garden area that utilized river rock to solve drainage problems in a beautiful and unique way. If you chose to walk around the side of their home then you found yourself viewing shade gardens on each side of the walkway. Their backyard is divided into sun and shade areas thus allowing them to be creative with shade and sun-loving plants. They actually have a brass bed that is found under the tree canopy that has become a "garden bed." Their large garden arbor is covered with wisteria vine and provides a great shaded area for entertaining guests. Next to the arbor is a small water garden feature that adds peace and tranquility to this delightful spot.
Last, but definitely not least we visited the home and gardens of Jan and Ed Tryniszewski on Long Swamp Road. I have been asking them to participate in our garden tour for many years, but they felt their yard/gardens were too small; we all knew otherwise!! When you open their backyard gate, you are drawn into a walled garden filled with daisies, beebaum, coneflowers, globe thistle and gooseneck with a backdrop of trumpet vine on their fence. Next you gravitate toward a triangular shaped garden pergola that is supported by a knee height stonewall. This area calls out to you to, "sit down, relax and enjoy the view. Several paths guide you to other gardens that are designed around antique artifacts. Their yard includes shade and sun areas that blend into the natural landscape filled with many unique ideas and wonderful plant material. What they have created in this beautiful corner-lot is truly amazing and ever so charming.
Each of these gardens was a delight to visit. It is obvious that these serious gardeners find working in their yards a rewarding and enjoyable experience. The Wolcott Historical Society truly appreciates the hard work it takes to allow us into their gardens to enjoy the beauty.
If you had the pleasure of viewing these gardens I'm sure that you will agree that it was well worth the donation. If you have a garden large or small and are interested in allowing your garden to be part of our tour next year, please let us know by visiting our Historical Society website or calling Flo Goodman at 203-879-9818. We always love to see new gardens.
Garden angel in Deb DuBois's gardens
Birdhouse in Leslie and Ray Lamitol's gardens.
Gardens at the home of Teddy Therkildsen and Roy Balkus.
Gardens at the home of Ellen and Brett Mussion.
Gardens at the home of Jan and Ed Tryniszewski.
Faerie garden created and donated by Deb DuBois for a raffle at Garden Tour was won by Elaine Martinelli.
Jeanette, Laurie and Pumpkin Pie Horzepa staffed the Garden Tour ticket table.
To view past installments of the Wolcott Historical Society News, click here.