– Ellen Duggins, Chair
As well as filling the planters each year, the Gardeners have been planting at the beach since 1956.
In 2006, as a gift to the community, the Gardeners established a berm of boulders and raised beds to screen and protect the picnic area from the parking lot. The rocks and dune effect replicates the rock outcroppings that appear off the beach at low tide.
In 2009, with a grant from the 6th Taxing District, flower beds were established in front of the flagpole. In addition to yearly planting and maintenance of the established plantings, rejuvenation of the beds around the flagpole is a continuing project.
The damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 was particularly devastating to the entire beach area and work is ongoing to restore the berm and beds. Thanks to Gardener Karen Laroque and her husband Gerry, a beautiful new planter was installed at the beach in 2014. Ongoing efforts include planting of beach hardy and appropriate grasses, roses and the like to minimize maintenance and provide naturalized berms.
In 2018 we participated in the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut’s Annual Project to create a xeriscape or drought-resistant garden that included both native and pollinator-friendly plants. When we consider our changing climate and the need to preserve water, we felt a xeriscape garden would be both educational and important to our environment . We planted Joe Pye Weed, Iron Weed, Milkweed, Monarda, Speedwell, Calamint and Verbena, just to name a few varieties. We were awarded a prize for our Xeriscape Garden at the 2018 Annual Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut Award Luncheon.
In coming years we will continue to plant (in all our berms), primarily drought resistant perennials and pollinator friendly plants.