Milford Garden Club beautifies senior center

By Matt McDonald
Posted 8/17/22

MILFORD — The environs of the Milford Senior Center are bursting with vibrant yellows and oranges.

The sights are thanks to the recent efforts of members of the Milford Garden Club, who for …

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Milford Garden Club beautifies senior center

Posted

MILFORD — The environs of the Milford Senior Center are bursting with vibrant yellows and oranges.

The sights are thanks to the recent efforts of members of the Milford Garden Club, who for the past couple of years have completely redesigned and planted multiple gardens lining the outside of the senior center.

The garden project was a complete overhaul — many years in the making, said club member Linda Peters.

“It’s interesting and fun to be more creative,” Ms. Peters said. “A lot of times you get to a point with a garden that all you’re doing is maintaining and weeding and trimming back. And it’s nice to imagine an area and start from scratch.”

The Milford Garden Club has been around since 1966, Ms. Peters said. The club, currently 26 members strong, tends to plants around the city, including at the Delaware Veterans Home and outside the Riverfront Theater. The club also highlights a particularly beautiful garden each month from community member submissions.

For the senior center garden overhaul, club members removed all the old plants around the main entrance, including periwinkle and boxwood, which were replanted in other areas around the senior center. The plots were made level with the surrounding paths to fix water drainage issues. A landscaper was hired to sift the beds, filtering out rocks that had long plagued the soil.

Members plotted out a new garden and gradually began planting. The front entrance garden features flowers such as grape hyacinths, geraniums and daffodils. In recent years, the club also converted another of the senior center’s gardens into a native plant garden.

“I think they’ve done a beautiful job,” said Amy Stratton, executive director of the senior center. “It was blooming so well in the early spring that I had received a Facebook message from a mother who had been out and did an impromptu photo shoot in our garden, and she was raving about how great it looks.”

There are still some drainage issues because the garden out front slopes downhill, said Donna McCarthy, another garden club member. “But we’re getting there,” she said.

One highlight of the new entrance garden for Ms. McCarthy are the ladybug-shaped stones that decorate the area around the flagpole. (Ladybugs are the state bug.)

“I’m quite fond of the fact that we found the ladybug stones,” Ms. McCarthy said. “We’re still looking for some other little markers that will make it more attractive, and we’ll keep working on that.”

One curious sight in the native plant garden is a short chicken wire fence surrounding some gaillardia, also known as blanket flower, which has vibrant yellow flowers with a deep red center. The security measure was put in place after ducks had repeatedly tried to eat the plant, Ms. Peters said.

“It’s just one of those little funny things that happens when you’re gardening,” she said.

Community members interested in joining the Milford Garden Club can send an email to milfordgardenclubdelaware@gmail.com. The email also accepts suggestions for garden of the month. The club meets on the first Wednesday of each month from September to June. The club also maintains gardens under its members’ care on the second and fourth Thursdays.

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