Wilton Historical Society honors volunteers
Jackie Algon and Bobbi Kahan were honored as Volunteers of the Year by the Wilton Historical Society at its Annual Meeting and Potluck Dinner on June 18. The women were thanked for their tireless efforts in caring for the Colonial Herb Garden.
It takes teams of volunteers to keep the garden looking spectacular, co-executive director Allison Sanders said. Of the historical society’s gardeners, many are master gardeners in training who perform community service as they qualify for certification.
Each spring, the plantings are reviewed and plans made as to what needs to be transplanted, replaced or removed. Weeding, pruning and watering tasks are shared during summer and fall. The garden has been expanded by the group over the past few years, adding a border to the left of the entrance path, and tackling overgrown lilacs.
Jackie Algon has been instrumental in reviving and expanding the garden in recent years, and has organized the volunteers and arranged for the master gardeners in training to participate. She has been involved in it all, in addition to the volunteer time she has given to school field trips and educational programs.
“Bobbi Kahan is a very active member of the volunteer group, and cares for the garden as if it were her own,” Sanders said. She is an early bird, and can be found weeding, deadheading, watering and staking plants every week.
Planted next to the Betts House, the garden provides a beautiful and educational aspect to the museum complex. Splashed with color and fragrant with lavender and thyme, it is a sight to behold in the summer. The garden, divided into sections for dyeing, potpourri, culinary, and medicinal herbs, is historically accurate to the year 1750. Some of the interesting plants that can be seen in the garden include Penny Royal (Mentha pulegium) a mint flavoring for soup; Rue (Ruta graveolens) for joint stiffness; Skirret (Sium sisarum) a flavoring for stews; and Wrinkled Rose (Rosa rugosa ‘rubra’) which provides Vitamin C to prevent scurvy. There are over 40 kinds of plants.
The Wilton Historical Society is grateful to all its volunteers and to the Wilton Garden Club, which has supported the garden by providing funding for plants, mulch and a sprinkler system in recent years.