Flower basket campaign a success

The Making Wilton Beautiful campaign has bloomed into a resounding success, organizers told the Board of Selectmen June 18.

“The fundraising campaign was very successful, we received about $12,000,” said Nan Merolla of the Wilton Garden Club.

“This will allow us to purchase hanging baskets for the next two years,” she said, since each year’s supply of flowers costs about $4,000.

The flowers are pink and raspberry geraniums. They peak in mid-summer with long lasting blooms that are drought tolerant.

“They are very showy once they get going in mid-summer,” Merolla told the board. “So, you may have noticed they’re not very showy right now — please stand by.”

There are 110 flower baskets around town — two on each of the 54 lampposts in Wilton Center and two at Merwin Meadows.

“We’re delighted they’re back because that add so much beauty to our town,” Merolla said.

As a result of the successful campaign, no further fundraising is planned at this time. She thanked the local news media for publicizing the campaign and helping get attention, and thanked the 120 individual families and businesses that contributed. They will all receive letters or emails of thanks, she said.

Local businesses were not directly solicited to contribute, but many did anyway, she said, and that was much appreciated.

“It’s heartening to see the widespread desire for beautification,” she said.

It all began earlier this year when a group of volunteers dedicated to the beautification of Wilton  joined with the Wilton Garden Club in a fund-raising campaign to purchase flower baskets for the lampposts in the town center this summer. There were none last year. Spearheading the campaign were resident Kelly Lash and Wilton Garden Club president, Suzanne Knutson.

“I love Wilton and want it to be as beautiful as possible,” Lash said at the time. “I really missed the hanging baskets last year, so I figured I’d roll up my sleeves and do whatever was necessary to bring them back.”

The baskets were delivered a few days before the Memorial Day parade and were hung by Wilton’s Parks and Recreation crew. They’ll water them regularly throughout the summer.