Time to replace and renew
One month, three nor’easters, countless damaged trees and shrubs. As hints of spring finally begin to appear, Wilton residents are surveying their landscapes with dismay. Few properties have been spared from the destruction. Cherished trees have been reduced to a mangled mess of shattered tree trunks and downed branches. While many dogwoods and crabapples took a beating, it was the Eastern white pines that were hit especially hard.
According to Suzanne Knutson, president of the Wilton Garden Club, “White pines are great trees for a quick, evergreen screen, but they don’t last very long. Over time, their branches get weak and brittle. Every time we get some heavy snow or ice, those branches come crashing down. And as we saw, they’ll take out everything else in their path.”
While it is discouraging, and in some cases heartbreaking, to witness all the damage, there is a silver lining: renewal. As with humans, plants have a life cycle. Many of the trees and shrubs that were lost had probably completed theirs. However, spring is here, and once the ground warms up it will be an excellent time to plant. According to Knutson, homeowners would be well advised to view this as an opportunity to make some changes.
“Now is an excellent time to view your landscape with a critical eye to replace and renew,” she said. “If you lost a tree, you may need to rethink what to plant there. Maybe you want to go in a different direction and put in a mixed border filled with shrubs and perennials. Or maybe you want a perennial border filled with sun-loving plants now that your shady tree is gone.” Either way, she points out, “You’re going to need more plants, and we’ll have loads of interesting plants to replace whatever you lost at the garden club’s upcoming Annual Mother’s Day Plant Sale.”
Included in the sale will be trees and shrubs, more than 1,000 perennials hand-dug from members’ gardens and already acclimated to thrive in other Wilton gardens, herbs and vegetables, annuals and wildflowers, patio containers, decorative floral baskets and hanging flower baskets.
So will they be offering Eastern white pines? Knutson laughs before replying, “No, that’s the one thing we won’t have. But we will be offering two different types of oak trees, and I didn’t see many of those that came down during the storms!”
The Wilton Garden Club’s Mother’s Day Plant Sale, which is the club’s primary fund-raiser, will be held Friday, May 11, from noon to 6, and Saturday, May 12, from 10 to 2, rain or shine at Wilton’s Town Green. There will also be an early bird sale open to the public at the club’s greenhouse at the Comstock Community Center on Wednesday, May 9, from 9:30 to 1:30. More information at wiltongardenclub.org, facebook.com/wiltongardenclub.