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    Local News
    Thursday, August 18, 2022

    Beauty abounds amid tough times

    Marketing and Communications Director Jill Davoll shared her photo of the garden at the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut in Gales Ferry, which features lots of purple coneflower, black-eyed susan, crocosmia, and daylilies.

    The annual reader-submitted garden photo feature is always one of our favorite parts of running the Times, and with everyone taking to their yards amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it was especially important to run this year. We hope your gardens are just as beautiful and productive.

    Clem and Diane Brown of Oakdale started their perennial garden from seed 20 years ago, and it fills every year with coneflowers, butterfly weed and red bee balm. “[They’re] all favorites of the hummingbirds, bees and butterflies that come to it every day,” they said.
    Joe St. Rock of Stonington said his dahlias this year grew so big that he had to prop them up with a system of posts and strings. His flowers bloom from mid-July through late September.
    Sharon Slaton of Niantic shared a photo of the pollinator section of her front yard garden. “Lots of butterfly weed, coneflowers, St. John’s wort, and hot pokers as well as mini roses and lavender,” she said. “The garden is full of bumble bees and often butterflies.”
    Marlene Wiggins of Waterford shared her father Lawrence Morth’s garden, also in Waterford. She said he does his own landscaping at 87 and is very proud of his yard.
    Jeff, Kitty, Chick and Lori Barberi showed off their harvest, including 400 bulbs of garlic, in Waterford. “This year our gardens were the best ever,” said Chick Barberi. “Better than chocolate cake!”
    Frances Neal, an 80-year-old resident of New London, said she’s a lifelong gardener and joined FRESH New London’s community gardens last year, where she grew collard greens and tomatoes. This flower comes from the okra she planted this year.
    The Bouchard family of Waterford has “beans galore” in this year’s herb garden.
    Deanne and Rick Tomassetti of Waterford built new raised beds for their garden and said they’ve really taken off this year.
    Tristen Taylor’s Groton garden is bursting with cherry tomatoes.
    Daneen Roth of New London found this sprouted peanut one morning in her raised bed garden. “I had not planted any peanuts, so I expect the local squirrel will need to be brought in for questioning,” she said.
    Karen Valente has day lilies, hydrangeas, blackberry lilies, and painted black-eyed Susans in her front garden in the City of Groton.
    Bruce Silvestri’s raised bed garden in Waterford was grown with TLC.
    The Clark family of Stonington designed their garden for bees, butterflies and birds, but they also enjoy it.
    Deborah Mathis, property manager of AHEPA 250-I in Niantic, shared pictures of the garden planted by the complex’s residents. “It has grown so big that we had to start putting extra boxes outside the fence,” she said.
    Carol Connor planted a secret garden on her property in Noank, featuring hostas, a bird bath and a bench on an outcropping of ledge.
    Kristin Foster of Mystic shared a photo of this year’s garlic planted last fall by a fellow community gardener. “The plant stems reminded me of swans with their slender necks curving and bending to ‘see and relate’ to each other,” she said.
    Joan Smith, president of the Groton Open Space Association, took this picture of the pollinator garden at GOSA’s Beebe Cove Vista property on Elm Street in Noank. The space features native plants purchased with a grant from the Mystic Garden Club.
    Jerry Poulton’s giant elephant ears in Niantic started as bulbs in March.
    Linda and Steve Burdick planted a variety of flowers, herbs and vegetables in their Stonington garden for their enjoyment and that of local pollinators.

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