Linda Lareau presents the CHS 2013 flower show award to John Wilcox for his company's landscape exhibit.
2013 CHS Flower Show Award Winner: Hillside Landscaping Company
by Linda Lareau
Each year at the Connecticut Flower & Garden Show, CHS recognizes a landscape exhibit that stimulates an interest in horticulture and also inspires the home gardener through the use of distinctive plants and design. Recipients of this year’s award are John Wilcox and Steven Walowski of Hillside Landscaping Company in Berlin.
Hillside Landscaping’s exhibit reflects important elements of any strong garden design, and includes a distinctive water feature, cohesive design and larger plantings to provide perspective. The plant selection and color are appropriate and timely.
Hillside Landscaping was founded in 1984, and Wilcox and Walowski have attended the flower show for more than 20 years. The company does custom landscape and water-feature design and plant installation, emphasizing structure, texture and color. John and Steven keep the focus on easy maintenance and natural landscapes.
CHS thanks the judges for their evaluation and perspective: John O’Brien of O’Brien Nurserymen in Granby, Sarah Bailey, a University of Connecticut master gardener coordinator, and Kevin Wilcox of Silver Spring Nursery in Bloomfield.
Karen Ellsworth of Farmington (center) displays the 2012 CHS Service Award presented to her at the May 2012 program meeting. With her are CHS Awards Chairman Elaine Widmer and CHS President Steve Silk.
2012 CHS Service Award Winner: Karen Ellsworth
by Elaine Widmer
Consistently, quietly and with a smile on her face, Karen Ellsworth regularly gives back to the Connecticut Horticultural Society.
As chairman for 10 years of the CHS Hospitality Committee, she has ensured that members and guests have coffee, tea and kosher cookies at each CHS meeting. She buys the goodies, sets a beautiful table and then, yes, she cleans it all up.
You’ll also find Karen helping at CHS plant auctions, giving volunteers sustenance in the form of food and drinks. Over the years, she has volunteered at the Connecticut Flower and Garden Show in Hartford, helping to plant the display gardens or serving as a greeter. As Holiday Potluck Chairman Fran Schoell’s right-hand assistant, she helps ensure that the annual event goes off without a hitch.
Karen joined CHS about 20 years ago as a diversion from her full-time job as an elementary school teacher in Farmington. She loved the society’s meetings and the pleasant distraction of learning about plants. She recruited her mom to CHS, and they have enjoyed many overseas and day trips.
“It’s the camaraderie and friendships that I’ve made at CHS that keep me coming back,” Karen says. “I’ve found the people to be so welcoming.”
Her advice to new members is to “take your time to consider the many opportunities available at CHS, then choose one and just get involved. There’s really something for everyone in this plant community.”
In her garden, Karen has taken the advice of many recent CHS speakers and removed most of the grass in her backyard. Her flower garden includes her favorite spring plants—daffodils, jonquils and hellebores—and she also maintains a small vegetable garden. That garden gives sustenance to the chipmunks, squirrels and rabbits.
Her commitments don’t stop with CHS. She volunteers at her church, where she maintains the memorial garden and has become an expert apple pie baker. Four days a week she is a patient-relations volunteer at the John Dempsey Hospital at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. She also volunteers at Ten Thousand Villages in West Hartford.
Congratulations to one busy lady.
The Connecticut Horticultural Society has presented its highest external award to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) for its focus on solving agricultural, public health and environmental problems.
“Through their research and educational efforts aimed at growers, students and the public at large, CAES employees have touched the lives of thousands of Connecticut residents,” society Awards Chairman Elaine Widmer said. “Their work has made us more skilled, informed and aware as gardeners and as stewards of the environment.”
The society’s Gustav A. L. Mehlquist Award honors prominent Connecticut plantspeople who have advanced the art of gardening or made an extraordinary contribution to horticulture. CAES Director Louis A. Magnarelli and Sharon Douglas, plant pathologist and head of the plant disease information office, accepted the award and $500 check at the society’s June 21 program meeting in West Hartford.
Flanked by CHS Awards Chairman Elaine Widmer (left) and CHS President Steve Silk (right), Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Director Louis Magnarelli and scientist Sharon Douglas accept on behalf of CAES the society's 2012 Gustav A. L. Mehlquist Award.
Founded in 1875 with a research-based mission, CAES was the first experiment station in the United States. At laboratories in New Haven, Windsor, Hamden and Griswold, CAES scientists conduct experiments on plants and pests, insects, soil and water quality and provide analysis to state and federal agencies, the horticultural industry and the general public.
Their many duties include testing food for safety, evaluating new fruit and vegetable crops, diagnosing pest problems and inspecting nursery plants before they leave Connecticut. CAES scientists work to protect people’s health by testing ticks, mosquitoes and bed bugs for a variety of diseases. They work to protect the environment by investigating controls for invasive plants, for plant diseases such as boxwood blight and for pests such as the emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle.
“Anyone who has had contact with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and its talented employees will understand just why they are so very deserving of this recognition,” Widmer said.
The Connecticut Horticultural Society is a statewide, mostly volunteer organization dedicated to enhancing the appreciation of gardening. Gustav Mehlquist, for whom the award is named, was a professor of plant breeding at the University of Connecticut. He died in 1999 at age 93.
Check out CAES 2012 Science Day Aug. 1 at Lockwood Farm in Hamden.
2012 Connecticut Flower and Garden Show
Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, Feb. 23-26, 2012
Theme: Traditions of Nature
The CHS landscape display, "After the Storm," received two awards:
-- from the American Horticultural Society for "demonstrating and promoting sound horticultural practices," and
-- from the show's host, North East Expos Inc., for the "Best Naturalistic Garden." Read more. >