Tour offers a glimpse at Windsor gardens

By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Thu., Jul. 21, 2011
Patty Crowley (right) talks about her garden with visitor Dae Bugl during the recent tour. Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.
Patty Crowley (right) talks about her garden with visitor Dae Bugl during the recent tour. Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.

Marci Martin considers gardening to be good for the soul.

Everyone who took part in the Garden Tour put on by the Windsor Historical Society and Windsor Garden Club on July 16 appeared to agree with her.

Some of Windsor's most interesting gardens were available to tour, as visitors moved freely from home to home on the route, enjoying a variety of flowers, vegetation and shrubbery.

Martin moved from Glastonbury 11 years ago, bringing a few rose bushes from her previous garden, and now has a huge display of roses in many colors. They are her passion, and in addition to her own garden, she is the master rose gardener for Elizabeth Park in Hartford, where she is in charge of the upkeep of one of the largest and oldest gardens in the country.

“It’s 2.5 acres full of roses, and it has been open to the public since 1904,” she said.

Her personal garden is the most important to her, and she says coming out to view the different-colored roses gives her joy each day.

“She works really hard on the flowers,” said her husband, Bob Martin. “She comes outside every day with a pruner and she works on them, even if she just finds something small to fix.”

In addition to roses, the couple also likes to grow vegetables.

Another gardener on the tour down Windsor Avenue, Patty Crowley, said she enjoys using various objects you might not associate with the outdoors to decorate her garden, including an old crib that was given to her.

“The things give some character to all the plants that are out there,” said Crowley.

Paul Bugl of Windsor agreed. “I like the unusual-looking gardens and seeing how they can take various objects and make them into decorations,” he said. “It can sometimes give you ideas of what you might use in your own gardens. I like the use of a broken pot as a decoration. It’s different, but if it is placed the right way, it really adds to the garden.”

Tom Graywacz began his garden nine years ago and has added many different types of shrubs, flowers and decorations. He was pleased by the reaction of garden enthusiasts who passed through on the tour.

“It’s so rewarding to see the reactions of people when they came to see my garden,” Graywacz said. “It really makes it worth all the work I have been doing.”

His garden featured rare 8-foot-tall lilies and other larger plants. He said he likes the uniqueness of his yard offers, but is always careful to make sure it’s not too much.

“I love having all these plants, but at the same time I don’t want it to be too overwhelming,” said Graywacz.

There were more than a dozen sites for visitors to tour, with a lot of variety, and visitors went home with new ideas to try in their own gardens.

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