Middlebury Garden Club announces Roadside Attractions winners

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 winners this year include Monument Farms Dairy in Weybridge, Gil and Eleanor Kupfer on Leicester/Whiting Road in Leicester, Irene and Randall Preston on Route 125 in East Middlebury and Middlebury Natural Food Co-op. A fifth winner is the unknown person who prepared the beautiful plants on Monkton Road in Monkton.
Rolling to the stop on Monkton Ridge just south of the store you see this sunny yellow house with blue doors. Commuters are treated to a wonderful porch displaying an array of unusual antique planters framed by ferns and hostas. You’ll also see a wooden bin, milk cans, an elegant copper tub, various urns, hanging baskets and an assortment of handsome hand-turned flowerpots overflow with begonias.
Irene and Randall Preston started their garden so that their housebound neighbor might have something pretty to look at from her windows next door. The gardens at 379 Route 125 in East Middlebury are anchored by a locust and crabapple tree, surrounded by marigolds and a clipped privet hedge. There is an endless array of bloom, all started from seed and root cuttings: petunias, begonias, sunflowers, impatience and an enormous, white flowered, gardenia-scented hosta. A hand-built walkway leads to a magical “secret patio” room surrounded by the hanging vines of bittersweet and wisteria.
Tucked between the south side of the Middlebury Natural Food Co-op and the law offices of Deppman and Foley on Washington Street in Middlebury is a planted walkway leading to a picnic area surrounded by wonderful plantings all season long. Designed originally by local landscapers and area Master Gardeners, it has more recently been tended by horticulturalist Melita Bass from Lincoln, and Kate Corrigan and Sebastian Miska of North Branch Farm and Gardens in Ripton. In spring, some of the many lovely surprises to be seen there are purple German iris, unusual daylilies, dwarf serviceberry which the birds love, and the smoky-leaved rosa rubrifolia. Hopefully by the time you read this you can still see a wall of rudbeckias punctuated by spectacular purple dahlias and red geraniums (the latter over-wintered lovingly by Irene Lin).
Monument Farms Dairy at 2107 James Road is considered by many to be at the heart of the town of Weybridge, and anyone stopping by the offices there are greeted by wonderful window boxes all summer. Designed and planted by Myrna Culver, this year they include an elegant arrangement of “Baby Face Blue” angelonia, “Apple Blossom” diascia breezee, miniature double pink “Silk n’ Satin” petunias, “Bandana Pink” lantana, white lobelia chinensis, “Diamond Frost” euphorbia, and “Raspberry and Lavender Stream” lobularia. Mature foundation plantings include crimson barberry, euonymous, and “Ballerina” bosta.
It is worth slowing down for the sharp bend in the Leicester/Whiting Road in Leicester, for safety and the pleasure of taking in Gil and Eleanor Kupfer’s front and side yard gardens, which are carefully tended by their daughter Pamela. There are arrangements of annuals: geraniums, marigolds, day lilies, and on the porch, pots of zinnias, begonias, and petunias. In between hydrangea and rosa rugosa are plenty of perennials: iris, varieties of hosta, monarda, echinacea, lupines and now flox and sunflowers.

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