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Middlebury Garden Club’s roadside attraction winners

MARGE DREXLER'S GARDEN in Cornwall.

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 for 2019 include
Marge Drexler in Cornwall, a home on Bristol Notch Road in Lincoln, Gail Butz’s garden on East Street in Bristol, Liz Smith’s porch display on Route 22A in Bridport, a collaboration between Lily P. Snow and the town public works crew in Middlebury, and the Waybury Inn of Route 125 in East Middlebury.
 
 
 
 
1st garden
Marge Drexler, Cornwall
Marge Drexler’s gardens at 1874 Route 74 are anchored by an enormous black walnut tree and a towering blue spruce, and contains an abundance of fruit trees (pear and apple), flowers, vegetables and herbs. The profusion includes all sorts of daylilies, sunflowers, rose campion, welch poppies, cornflowers, monkshood, bee balm, philipendula, globe thistle, Queen Anne’s lace, sweet potatoes, garlic and onions, grapes, peas, rhubarb, kale, broccoli, beets, lettuces, Brussels sprouts, squash and leeks.
 
 
2nd garden
Nanny-Co, Lincoln
Of the many stone wall-bordered beds surrounding Nanny-Co’s contemporary home at 1901 Upper Notch Road, Lincoln, the serviceberry/shadblow trees in the driveway gardens create an arching bower providing a line of sight following a stone path to the front door. Hydrangea and specimen Mugo pine and weeping white pine greet visitors in the parking area in the garage/barn, accompanied by geranium, tradescantia, clematis, mallow, assorted daylilies, and tall grasses. Beds banking the walkway are filled with peonies, phlox, philipendula, indigo, epimedium, coral bells, all nestled among thoughtfully placed large boulders punctuated with glowing red poppies. To the side of the front door is a quiet, sunny, outdoor “room” with ladies mantle, bench and potted dahlias, behind which is a mixed vegetable garden.
 
 
3rd garden
Gail Butz, Bristol
Neighbors out walking are always looking to see what surprises will be growing out through the picket fence surrounding Gail Butz’s yard on East Street in Bristol. The bicolor pink and cream gladiolas lining up outside the fence are showstoppers, but the twining garden glory clematis and towering verbena bonariensis, flox, Russian sage, echinacea and “Only the Lonely” nicotiana nod overhead. Ruby grass, amaranth, an arborvitae, purple salvia and a Hudson Valley shrub rose are backed by tardiva hydrangea, surrounding a large sculptural rock capping the corner. More new gardens will be revealed next year as overgrown shrubbery is removed to make way for new plantings.
 
 
4th garden
Liz Smith, Bridport
The artfully arranged pink, white and green of petunias, lobelia, jasmine, and coleus spill out of tiered planters and pots on the porch of the old brick store on Route 22A in Bridport, where Liz Smith now lives. What a relaxing place it must be at the end of a long day, watching the world pass, framed by twin tropical Mandevilla vines climbing up posts at each side of the yellow front door.
 
5th garden
Waybury Inn, East Middlebury
The Waybury Inn on Route 125 in East Middlebury has always provided great New England hospitality with good food and drink, but has also created serene gardens enjoyed by the neighborhood, inn guests, diners, and passing traffic. Masterful gardeners Toby and Renita Welch design, plant and maintain the changing array all season. The welcoming signage out front is circled by marigolds, sunflowers, petunias and tall purple verbena, while the front porch is screened by twin blue spruce, tall ornamental grasses, dahlias, variegated hosta, and autumn joy sedum. Following the west wall of the Inn is a long, sunny border filled with an array of constant bloom: peonies, coral bells, Japanese anenome, balloon flowers, echinacea, giant rose-colored hibiscus, and a big blue pot of coreopsis. Across the lawn to the west is a shade garden with beds of fern and hosta bordered by gravel pathways. Of special note are two simple but very elegant urns: one filled with neon pink African impatiens and scarlet angel wing begonias, the other with purple lobelia and dusty, grey-green silver falls dichondra.
 
 
6th garden
Downtown Middlebury
We have Lily P. Snow (Middlebury Department of Public Works) to thank for designing and planting three unusual and sophisticated combinations of plants on the green at town square, across from Town Hall Theater, and at the roundabout at the end of Main Street. At the top of the green, there is a full circle of pansies in purple, yellow, and apricot, white impatiens, and pink and white begonias, as well as euphorbia. Across from the Town Hall Theater the tall war memorial is flanked by four identical square planters filled with deep red super petunias, tall yellow canna lilies and blue angelonia. The roundabout has been transformed into a tropical arrangement of dark purple/black colocasia, profusion bush zinnias, yellow nasturtium, tall, and self-seeding verbena bonariensis.

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