Soundwaters Garden at Cove Island, Stamford - 2009

 By MG Jeanne Hersh

In May 2008, work began on the floral borders adjacent to the Soundwaters building on Cove Island in Stamford CT. Four Master Gardener Interns - Phyllis Padro, Peter Coll, Elaine Hjelte and Jeanne Hersh tackled the renovation of a garden over-run with invasive plants, (Artemisia, garlic mustard, Tree of Heaven) and native weeds (plantain, stilt-grass, and dandelions). As work progressed, a design sketch for a new a garden anchored with Native Species shrubs evolved. The shrubs, Fothergilla, Summersweet, Red Chokeberry, Sand Cherry and Ninebark were carefully placed for best sunlight. Perennials were chosen for color and drama - Hydrangea Limelight, Knock-Out Roses, and pink Astilbe.

In 2009, the same interns, now fully-fledged Master Gardeners, with unabated enthusiasm, continued working to make the garden a magnet to butterflies, beneficial insects and visitors. Markers with plant names will soon provide a teaching opportunity to learn about Native Species and encourage others to use them in their own gardens.

With the help of 2009 interns (notably Martin Behm, Susan Flynn, and Ganga Duleep), edges are now defined, more structure delineates rock paths, and more perennials have been added – all thanks to a grant from CMGA. There are two deep red showstopper Rose standards, a purple smoke bush, Hydrangea tardiva (late-blooming white flowers), Juniper Blue Star, Potentillia Pink Beauty, and two variegated Azaleas ‘Silver Sword’ .

The garden is frequently visited by the children who come to Soundwaters for day camp, sailing lessons and nature study and by adults who use Cove Island to walk, picnic, and enjoy family activities. Many people have watched the transformation and remarked on the beauty of the garden, giving us the chance to tell them about the Master Gardener Program.

DSC_1511-2 Elaine, Peter, Jeanne and Phyllis

Pictured above: MGs (standing, L-R) Elaine Hjelte, Peter Coll and Jeanne Hersh, with Phyllis Padro seated in front, pose before the transformed perennial border at the Soundwaters Center on Cove Island in Stamford

At left: 
Welcome to SoundWaters!
This banner welcomes visitors to the SoundWaters Building on Cove Island in Stamford.
The perennial garden tended by MG volunteers is situated on the west side of the SoundWaters Building, and is designed to enhance the structure and compliment SoundWaters' commitment to protecting the environment.
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