Horseshoe Pond garden earns award

Folks who drive on River Road past the garden at Horseshoe Pond Park during warm weather can be forgiven for rubbernecking as they approach the traffic light at Wolfpit Road. After all, it is easy to get distracted by the unexpected profusion of flowers bursting from the garden planted along the side of the road. Now, nearly six years to the day after the Wilton Garden Club designed and installed the Horseshoe Pond garden, the Federated Garden Club of Connecticut has bestowed its prestigious “Tribute Award for Landscape Design” on the club in recognition of its efforts.

“The ruggedness of this garden amazes me,” says club member Suzanne Knutson, who designed the garden. “It gets hit with sand and salt spray during the winter, which is terrible for the soil, and it gets no supplemental watering during the summer, yet it still manages to look beautiful throughout the growing season.”

Ms. Knutson points out a wide assortment of ornamental grasses form the backbone of the garden. “The grasses are the key to the garden’s success because they’re drought-tolerant, low-maintenance and deer-resistant,” she said.

In early spring, members of the club’s Civics Committee clean out the bed, cut back the roses and plant an assortment of annuals. Afterward, they do the same for gardens the club maintains at the post office, the Veterans Memorial Green, and the “Town of Wilton” sign at the intersection of Route 7 and Ridgefield Road.

While the club’s members do most of the maintenance, they hire professional landscapers to put down a heavy layer of mulch in the spring and weed periodically during the summer.

“We hire workers to do the really heavy work, but that gets expensive, so we try to do as much as possible ourselves,” Ms. Knutson said. “We also spend a lot of money on the annuals we plant, so it’s really important that our plant sale is successful,” she added, referring to the club’s annual Mother’s Day Plant Sale. “That’s where we get the money to pay for everything.”

This is the 75th year the Wilton Garden Club will host its annual Mother’s Day Plant Sale. The sale, which is the club’s primary fund-raiser, will be held on Friday, May 9, from noon to 6, and Saturday, May 10, from 9 to noon, rain or shine, at Wilton’s Town Green.