Roxbury garden dedicated to the late Dorothy Diebold
Published 3:50 pm, Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Members of the Roxbury-Bridgewater Garden Club recently hosted a garden dedication at the wildflower field adjacent to the Great Oak Cemetery in Roxbury.
The garden honors lifetime garden club member and benefactor Dorothy R. Diebold, who died in July of 2010 at the age of 105.
The club said it knew it would honor her memory; it was a question of how and where it would be fitting and appropriate.
In the fall of 2010, members of the club's special projects committee, headed by Sharon Faanes, met with Ms. Diebold's son, Dudley Diebold, at the field, where he described his mother's love of butterfly, bird and bee activity in drifts of flowers, as well as her joy in walking through stands of laurels in bloom.
The entire landscape was offered as a canvas.
The Roxbury Cemetery Association was willing to give the club use of the acreage and entrusted the club with enhancing the site in Mrs. Diebold's honor, while the Diebold family offered to underwrite much of the expense.
Barbara Lang and Carol Beerbaum, club members and partners in Brandywine Landscape Design, inspired by the legacies of William Robinson and Henry F. DuPont, began collecting ideas of tree, shrub and flower species and putting the plan down on paper.
This summer, phase one of the three-part project is complete, while phase two is now in the works.
The three-acre site lends significant opportunity to create three distinct areas of interest.
A shady grove of trees on two levels overlooks a sunny wildflower meadow sloping down to wetlands at the back of the property.
Many native shrubs struggling against vines at one edge of the field are already a buzz of bird activity.
The goal of phase one under the tree canopy was to create a serene and shady spot for contemplation enclosed by broad-leaf evergreens such as laurels, native holly and azaleas.
Winding through the shaded area is a mulch-topped path that leads to the threshold of the meadow, where a grass path continues through the wildflowers and tall grasses follow the perimeter of the property.
A stone seat built as part of an existing old foundation looks out over blooming shrubs, as well as westward over the meadow.
The focal point of a tall old granite obelisk dug up on the property marks the threshold to the field.
Native trees have just been added to the field, as well as a stone resting bench at the far corner of the site.
Garden club members have plans to add varieties of native perennials to the meadow area, as well as indigenous woodland bulbs beneath the trees.
The club will continue to enhance and manage the naturalistic site open for passive recreation.
The garden is situated along Route 67 near the road's intersection with Route 199.