Friday, May 16, 2014

Remembering the Past, Building Our Future: UPDATE-Growing the Garden

The Sargent House lawn continues to evolve; here's an update to our last blog post, "Growing the Garden."

On May 8th, Susan Kelly and Terese O'Connell of Generous Gardeners, together with G.G. volunteer Karen Petersen, and two hired men from Wolf Hill Nursery, began installation of the new garden beds on the Sargent House Museum lawn. This beautification project is funded by our wonderful donors: Generous Gardeners, William Taylor and Julie Sidon.


Generous Gardener's Susan Kelly donated labor and perennials from her own garden, and William Taylor funded Wolf Hill to cut the beds and add loam. Because much of the gardens are on the steep slope, the team covered the loam with necessary erosion control fabric and cut holes to plant under that fabric. (This is what you see in the photographs.) Corliss extended the soaker hoses to connect with the shrub borders, and Wolf Hill later returned and put down mulch that hides the fabric.

UPDATE Photo: May 23, 2014. Mulch now installed.

According to Susan, working on the slope was a very physically challenging gardening job for everyone. Moreover, the volunteers made special efforts to participate. One of the volunteers, Terese O’Connell, lives in Boston and came up for the day just to help with installation. Terese is Susan's close friend and mentor---not to mention a Master Gardener! She loves Gloucester and volunteers with Susan regularly. Karen Petersen is a local volunteer with Generous Gardeners who also pitched in and helped for the day. Thanks so much, ladies!

Susan, Terese and Karen have so far installed:

2 large pale pink peonies
2 large Caryopteris (blue mist shrub)
2 Large Daylily ‘Absolute Treasure’
12 Sedum Matrona
12 Leucanthemum ‘Becky’
14 Echinacea ‘Coneflower’ (white and purple)
2 Scabiosa ‘Pincushion flower’
12 Lavender ‘Phenomenal’
6 Nepeta ‘Walkers Low’
16 Alyssum ‘Snow Princess’
12 low pink Daylilies

Susan says, "It was a big project for all of us. We worked from 8 until 4. ... I will be putting in some annuals to fill in and brighten it up until the perennials can get established..."

BEFORE: 2013, with annuals thanks to Generous Gardeners.
AFTER: 2014, roses removed, annuals to come.

The overall theme is pink/lavender/white so the colors are fairly muted. As you see from the before-and-after photos above, there were some antique roses in the front that were potted up for other bare spots on the property, to be planted soon by Lester Stockman, longtime Sargent House garden volunteer.

The roses mentioned were planted a decade ago, as recounted by Peggy Flanagan, a garden designer and former SHM Board member, in the SHM's Summer 2004 "Dolphin" newsletter. Here's what was planted around that time, most of which continues to grow and thrive today:

Roses: "Old Blush," the ancient rose "Celestial," and "Celsiana"
Bulbs: pink and ivory Darwin tulips, "Pheasant's eye" daffodils
Shrubs: summersweet, fothergilla, mountain laurel, "Mrs. C.S. Sargent" rhododendron, & others

In closing, special thanks go to our donors William Taylor and Julie Sidon, and, of course, our deep gratitude to Generous Gardeners who focus on Philanthropy through gardening. Please check out their Generous Gardener Website – which allows gardeners to donate, swap and sell plants online for free - something gardeners do all of the time, but with a significantly larger circle on the website! And, if you're interested in doing some volunteer gardening at the Sargent House, please contact us.

More photos coming soon, showing off the final product. We hope you'll stop by this season and smell the flowers!

By Kimberlee Cloutier-Blazzard, Development Associate

1 comment:

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