Winners of Middlebury Garden Club’s Roadside Attraction Awards pictured

ADDISON COUNTY — The Middlebury Garden Club has announced the winners of its annual Roadside Attractions Awards. These accolades recognize gardens cultivated by people around the county who are not members of the club.
The theme for all these gardens is that they can be enjoyed from the road while passing by in a car or on foot.
The four winners are Rod Cousino’s garden on West Street in Bristol, Patrick Phair and Tanya Byker’s Route 30 gardens in Cornwall, Robert Fuller and Alison Parker’s downtown Lincoln garden and Vina Norton’s colorful fenced garden in Vergennes.
Rod Cousino’s garden at Cousino Financial Services, 123 West St., Bristol, overflows its cheerful picket fence all season long with everything you might expect from a classic Vermont front garden, originally designed and tended by former owner Patricia Highly, who operated a bed and breakfast there a few years back. A path winds through the beds inside the picket fence, which separates it from the busy street. If you stroll by, tuck in for a quick treat to brush by combinations of coreopsis, purple coneflowers, peach daylilies, and pink phlox. Astilbes, gypsophilia, annual poppies, goatsbeard, and now Japanese primroses wrap around the front porch to the side yard.
Slow down for the floral spectacle at 3372 Route 30 in Cornwall. Patrick Phair and Tanya Byker tend this complex of established beds originally planned and cared for by former owner Liz Holm. From the road, these gardens grow up and around the house to cover the steep hillside behind with terraced patios surrounded by fruit trees, mixed shrub and perennial beds and a kitchen garden with brick path. The bloom out front begins with a riot of spring bulbs flanked by lilacs, followed by a magnificent peony display, and finishes with a lush blush of varied hydrangea. The driveway is lined with hemlock, rhododendron, an assortment of daylilies and variegated hosta, all shaded by two giant old locusts … and much more.
Robert Fuller and Alison Parker tend a series of beds, which are a delight to those who live in and visit their Creamery Street neighborhood in downtown Lincoln. The street is not a thoroughfare, but it draws attention from the bottom of Quaker Street with an unusual combination of very special parrot tulips in the early spring, ornamental evergreens, annuals and perennials. A tidy dry-stone wall supports a side garden leading to the back yard, which contains an old-fashioned collection of pastel-hued daylilies, Asiatic lilies and spikes of lavender hosta blooms, backed by dark pink hollyhocks. A row of hostas shaded by a wall of tall arborvitae provides privacy and leads the eye to their backyard vegetable garden and a series of unique stone garden sculptures created by Fuller.
A riot of color explodes all season long at the corner of Crescent Drive and Monkton Road in Vergennes. This barely contained garden extravaganza is presided over by Vina Norton of Hair Magic. Every square foot of her fenced yard produces a  flower of some kind. Perennials of every imaginable genus cover the lot, starting with bright orange poppies, peonies and iris. Clematis climb the walls of the house, and brightly colored zinnias pop out everywhere. Dozens of pots and planters filled with scarlet begonias line the entrance of her front walk and hang from fences. Eye-popping purple dahlias and hibiscus the size of dinner plates beg for a drive-by.
Editor’s note: This article was contributed by Christine Fraioli of the Middlebury Garden Club.

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