Wolcott Historical Society News - July 2018
By Florence Goodman
This month I will continue my series on how Wolcott named many of its roads found throughout our town, but with an added bonus. As you know July is Garden Tour month for the Wolcott Historical Society so I thought I would discuss the road name and history where each of these beautiful gardens are located.
As always, for a $10 donation you may leisurely wander through five magnificent gardens on July 7th from noon to 4:00 P.M. Tickets may be purchased ahead of the tour by calling Flo Goodman at 203-879-9818. You may also purchase tickets on the day of the tour at the Schoolhouse Museum at 155 Nichols Road from 11:30-2:00. These amazing gardens are located on Shelton Avenue, Long Swamp Road, DiSanto Drive, Andrews Road and Peterson Lane. You will not be disappointed with our garden choices and a little history goes a long way!
We will begin the tour in the southeast section of town better known as the Hitchcock Lake area at the home of Ellen and Brett Muccino, which is located on Shelton Avenue. This road received its name from Shelton Hitchcock who owned a large parcel of land here and whose home was located on Meriden Road near the head of the lakes. Ellen and Brett's gardens are always a joy to visit because of the many creative gardening ideas and unique plant material that is found throughout their property. Entering Ellen and Brett's yard you quickly realize that these gardens were created around an abundance of sun and the slope of the land, which has caused soil erosion, but they used this to their advantage by incorporating succulents with other perennials while utilizing river rock for drainage to solve the problem in a beautiful and unique way. Their backyard receives less sun allowing them to be creative with shade plants and shrubs as well as a great koi pond. They also have a vegetable garden and so much more; you will not be disappointed when you view their wonderful gardens.
Next we head north to Long Swamp Road and you really don't need me to tell you that it received its name from the swampland that surrounds it. Here we will visit the gardens of Jan and Ed Tryniszewski whose house is located on the corner of Seery and Long Swamp Roads. When you open their backyard gate, you are drawn into a walled garden filled with a variety of colorful perennials and a backdrop of trumpet vine along their fence. The triangular shaped garden pergola that is supported by a knee-high wall 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, beautiful statuaries and a garden shed. Their yard includes shade and sun areas that blend into the natural landscape filled with many unique ideas and wonderful plant materials. What they have created in this beautiful corner-lot is truly amazing and ever so charming.
The last three gardens and roads are found in the western section of town. Just around the corner from Wakelee School on DiSanto Drive is the home of Carol Jurzyk and her husband Bob. This street received its name from the DiSantos family who lived here along Spindle Hill Road. Carol and Bob's yard is a hidden treasure. As you enter the yard from the driveway beautiful paving blocks set into gravel lead you into several raised beds filled with perennials and shrubs. Carol and Bob have created some unique and creative garden rooms throughout their yard. The use of different types of plant materials and statuaries throughout these gardens add color and atmosphere to them. Bob has built a beautiful fence along their back border, a deck off the back of the house and a garden shed and potting shed that all gardeners would love to own. His talented carpentry ideas are obvious throughout the property.
Now it's off to Andrews Road to the gardens of Judy Giannetto. Judy is a long time gardener who not only has amazing perennial gardens, but her vegetable garden could supply the produce section of any grocery store. Judy's yard gets a lot of sun and the blooms in her gardens are abundant. She is also an avid bird lover and as you wander through these garden paths you feel like you have entered a tropical paradise with the sights and sounds of butterflies and birds. An attractive water feature is centered in her back garden and fits beautifully into the landscape. The property and road on which Judy's house and gardens are found was originally part of a very large tract of farmland owned by the Andrews family who settled in the region in the early 1800s. Interestingly enough, Judy's father purchased a large portion of this land in the late 1950s and developed the region. Many of the street names off of Andrews Road are names of her family members.
The last garden on this year's tour is found on Peterson Lane at the home of Terry and Flo Goodman. These perennial gardens have been developing and changing for over 34 years with the goal, " to having blooms from spring through fall." Thus plant materials were not only chosen by color and size, but also bloom time. When we purchased the property in 1984 there were many old maple trees that are no longer around so the gardens have also gone from shade to sun. The 1775 house and the land on which our gardens are found was the birthplace of the famous clockmaker, Seth Thomas. The property was also part of a large tract of land that the Peterson family purchased in 1918 and five years later established the Peterson Dairy farm. The Peterson family changed the original road name, Bryant Road to Peterson Lane.
I hope to see you wandering through these magnificent gardens on July 7th; I know you will not be disappointed. Remember, the funds raised from the tour are used to support our yearly scholarship given to a graduating senior from Wolcott High School. The rain date for the tour is Sunday, July 8th. Questions or purchasing tickets early, call Flo Goodman at 203-879-9818.
This year's Garden Tour is in memory of Theresa Goffred who was a lifetime member and an avid supporter of our Historical Society; she will be greatly missed.
The backyard garden pergola at Jan and Ed Tryniszewski's home.
A beautiful gravel walkway leading you into Ellen and Brett Muccino's gardens.
This beautiful potting shed is found in Carol Jurzyk's backyard. It was made by her husband, Bob.
The walkway leading into Judy Giannetto's back gardens
Petals from the rhododendrons found in Flo and Terry Goodman's gardens.
To view past installments of the Historical Society News, click here.