Thursday, December 15, 2016


It has come to pass that the Town of Greenwich needs a four foot one inch easement along the side of our house so it can replace a storm drain on our neighbor’s property.  This is not a happy development.  When I moved to Old Greenwich in 1995 I assumed the yard from Charlotte and Joe, my in laws.  It was their home for over 50 years.  The hemlock hedge around the property was 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide and in decline.  The yews by the front steps left little room to reach the porch. I could see the charm of the house built in 1917.  

After my husband, Jay took his chainsaw to the overgrown shrubs and I dug out the roots, it was time to plant anew.  It was also time to sell my parents' home where they had gardened for 60 years and our own family’s eight acres where I collected many wonderful varieties of flowers, shrubs and herbs.  With less than a quarter acre to work with and large Norway Maple trees close by in neighbors’ yards I took a Noah’s Arc approach and transplanted my most treasured plants.  

Now I must plan a rescue removal of the plants growing in the 160 foot long and five foot wide bed that includes the proposed easement.  Perhaps we can negotiate a fair arrangement to save the two specimen Chamaecyparis obtusa trees I planted twenty years ago that have grown into handsome specimens. The fifteen year old flowering “Stewartia” accenting my steps will be chopped down. 

The town’s engineer asked if this list was accurate, he could not imagine growing all these plants.  I will admit that if you are not a gardener it could raise eyebrows.  But this is the list that I made in May as I weeded and mulched the plants along my border garden.

Syringa - 2 lilac shrubs (one white and one dark purple)  
Kolkwitzia amabilis - Beauty Bush - 17 years, gift from my father at my mother’s passing - seedling of his plant  
Clethra - pink flowering gift from friend 18 years 
Narcissus - 30 Daffodils  
Hemerocallis - 25 Daylily plants various hybrids and rare selections (no wild orange) 
Hosta Blue Cadet - 10 
Hosta Francis Williams - 3 
Hosta Mrs Allen - 5 
Adiantum - 12  Maidenhair fern  
Asarum europaeum - European ginger 
Sanguinaria canadensis - Native wildflower - single bloodroot 
Hydrangia - 4 varieties established shrubs 
Iris Japanese 3 varieties(White heron, rare purple/white, Eleanor Perry) 
Iris Henry Shaw - 10 white German iris 
Iris pumilla - 25  dwarf early flowering purple 
Iris dwarf cherry - 15 semi-dwarf red iris 
Iris dwarf yellow - 15 semi-dwarf yellow iris  
Iris  - yellow flag 
Iris cristata - 50 (rare native) 
Paeonia lactifolia - single flowered peony - 3 pink  
Polygonatum  - Variegated Solomon seal 
Rubus - Jewel black raspberry (8 plants) established and productive 
Rubus - red raspberry (5 plants) established and productive 
Cyanococcus - 2 hybrid blueberry shrubs (10 years) 
Podophyllum - Mayapple 
Epimedium  - yellow  
Muscari - grape hyacinth 
Cornus florida - white Dogwood 50 years old 
Paeonia - Double pink peony  
Nepeta cataria - Catnip 
Levisticum officinale - lovage herb 
Allium schoenoprasum - chives herb 
Allium tuberosum - garlic chives herb 
Rosa Floribunda - 3 roses (pink and red)  
Hakonechloa m. aureola - Golden dwarf Japanese grass  
Buddleia - 2 Butterfly bushes (purple) 
Angelica - 10 culinary herb 
Buxus - English boxwood 17 years - rooted from a bouquet at my mother's funeral 
Artemisia albula - Wormwood Silver King 
Malva - Pink 
Digitalis (- pink foxglove) first planted 1979 
Helianthus tuberosus - Sunchoke  
Silene coronaria - Rose Campion 
Lismachia purpurea - Purple Loosestrife 
Platycodon - balloon flower 

Onoppordum acanthum - Scotch Thistle